Week 14: Collaboration

This week was short – only three (wild) days with the kids.  On Monday we had a buy-back day in which we collaborated with all the teachers of our grade level about the kids who are failing.  The principal had printed profiles for all the kids who currently have less than a 2.0.  I thought it was great to hear how different kids are doing with other teachers.  Of course, for the most part their performance is quite similar in all of their classes.  It was interesting and in some cases very sad to hear other teachers’ attitudes towards the kids.  Some are sincere in their desire to help the students, but others just seem to write them off.  While I do understand that desire (sometimes I just wish some of them would disappear!) they are children and truly need our best efforts.  I can’t let myself give up on any of them.

The thing that hurts me the most to hear is when a child is being raised by his or her grandmother and a teacher snorts and says “Well, enough said.  She couldn’t manage to raise her own kids right, and now she’s doing it again with the grandkids.”  It is not fair to blame it all on the mom.  I know from personal experience that sometimes a kid is just more than you know what to do with.  They don’t come with manuals, and we all do the best we can.

Next week the Principal and Vice Principal from the high school are coming over early in the morning to talk to (lecture to?) the eighth graders in danger of failing about high school, and what it’ll take to get themselves there.  Our Principal has made up a list of kind of deep questions for them to think about and complete before they leave the assembly.  I hope he takes plenty of pencils and provides for after school care, as they will probably be in there for a while!

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