Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Father, forgive them.

Because of yesterday, I'm deathly afraid to send my future children to public schools. To say that "she didn't know what she was doing" would be the understatement of the century. Mrs. Nameless, as she will hereafter be referred, is not a teacher, no matter what her name tag says. My small words will never encompass completely the aweful gravity of the situation, and how a woman, masked as a teacher, could ever slip through the educational loophole. Although the purpose of this blurb is not to get the woman fired, I'm not sure I would mind taking full responsibility if she did get the axe. Now, to explain...

I was actually quite excited about substituting yesterday when I walked into the bright white room. It smelled of paper and Windex and was clean, kept, and colorful--walls filled with cheesy posters and quotes that few students would ever stop to read. The class was team-taught Algebra, so I had the rare opportunity to observe a teacher in action, which thrilled me to the core--well, at the beginning anyway.

First problem--Mrs. Nameless, I quickly observed, didn't require respect even in the smallest measure. She was much more concerned about being "the cool teacher" to some immature and rude freshman. First hour was full of foul-mouths (which is typical) who Mrs. Nameless allowed to speak freely without penalty (untypical) about whatever they wished, including sex, "shrooms" and other narcotics (which she chuckled about), and several personal stories that included the f-word (which she also freely allowed). Sure, I should have said something, but friends, at this point I was probably sitting there with my mouth gaping open, forgetting that I owned a voicebox. I began to pray.

The rest of the day was full of conversations about "wiener-suckers", bad words in sign language, paper airplane throwing contests, hopscotch during the supposed lesson (2 math problems), and a small speech about how Mrs. Nameless got a D in HS Geometry class and still passed, so they were going to be good if they didn't do every homework assignment. What?! Why are people like this allowed to teach America's youth? I'm sure they were learning a ton of Algebra when 50% were listening to their ipods and 30% were in deep hibernation.

Mrs. Nameless was on such a mission to be cool that she let students who were skipping class or roaming the halls come and hang out with her (and wrote them passes to class). And, what's wrong about completely trashing the team teacher who was out sick with no voice to defend himself anyway? And worse? Allowed the kids to join in. She started conversations about how Jeremy had red eyes because he was probably stoned from the night before and told a girl who was dating a "gangbanger" to have safe sex if she was going to swap spit.

All I know is that now, I feel that I don't have an option to be a teacher. The world needs people who care--with values--and I'm never giving up on these kids. I'm not Mother Teresa, but what if I'm their only hope? The only Jesus they'll ever see?

All of it, the whole ordeal, made me so sick that driving home, I could've actually pulled over to vomit. In fact, right now, remembering this sick world and a wasted day in the life of 150 kids, I just might lose my lunch. Lord, have mercy on our fallen nation. We need you.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." -Luke 23:34

7 comments:

Mrs. Kelly Ross said...

Oh Lord Jesus! Michelle this just made my heart fall a bit... literally I CAN'T IMAGINE. I literally would've ran to the principal I think- I'm not kidding, something HAS to be sad. But even with something being sad its not like this is the only teacher that is like this. People like YOU are the ones that make such a difference in peoples lives.. that is why teaching is a CALLING. Praying for you and I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

J Bowie said...

Wow. Sad day, indeed. Unfortunately, not surprising. I'm afraid the profession is rife with those who wish only to draw a paycheck and get their summers as a vacation. Many of these folks think the best way to have a relationship with kids is to be their friend and accept their behavior. They falsely think that accepting the behavior and accepting the student, unconditionally, is the same thing. I'm sorry you had to see it.

Laura said...

I agree. This is just so so sad. I can't even imagine being in your shoes. I don't know what I would have done.
One day you're going to make an absolutely amazing teacher!!

Jami said...

Wow, that's ridiculous.
I'm proud of you and I love you. I know God will lead you and show what you need to do :)

Chelsie said...

Wow. Just... Wow. I know that this happens, because I had the unfortunate experience of attending a public high school for one semester. The students all had bad language... I know that's just what goes on today, no matter how unfortunate. But for the TEACHER to partake in conversations like that?! That's unprofessional, first of all, and, more importantly,morally wrong. Wow. I'm really sorry you had to go through that :( The public school system really needs a good teacher like you

Miss B said...

Lovely, NEVER GIVE UP! Stick to your principles. Not everyone will believe in what you do, but lead as an example and if even one student has been affected you have done your job. Kids need good examples, they WANT discipline, they need people to excite their brains, you can do this, I have mentioned it on my Blahg prior a good teacher changes EVERYTHING. I am sorry this happened but be yourself and look for the wounded, they are having a harder time concentrating than the privileged (believe me privileged can be as small as having a hot meal or home without fighting), let them know that they can achieve what they set their mind to. I am proud of people like you, we need more teachers that care, this is a test, don't let it break your spirit!

Cristina said...

So sad. This is a topic close to my heart as my daughter just started school last year. We put her in a private Christian school, but that doesn't mean she is "safe" from such things. We have to be diligent and involved with our children's lives on every level. You are right on that we need more Christian teachers in public school. What a calling you have received!

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