Last year, I was grilled by an evaluator about the "next steps" I take when a child doesn't understand a topic. I have a parent phone call log a mile long, I post each child's progress on a website, and I break down lessons to a point where I need an atom-smasher to break them down any further. I have students who don't do a blessed thing and their parents don't care. None of this can be used as an answer to the "next steps" question. If you answer that you use one-on-one help, the follow-up question is "what would your next steps be if the student still didn't understand the lesson?". If you answer that you stay after school to tutor the student individually, the response would be "what would your next steps be if the student still didn't understand the lesson?" If you reply that...; well, you get the idea. As if teachers are not under attack enough, we are subjected to this excruciating verbal cruxifiction.
|She is a true angel, however, even|
her "next steps" didn't help Marcus.
And most teacherscannot take a
failing child into their home.
|How many last chances should we give|
Marcus? At some point, shouldn't he have
to take responsibility for himself?
I liked Marcus, just as I like all kids. However, teachers cannot be held accountable for everything. Young people make bad choices. Some of them learn from these mistakes, such as the one student, Marco, featured on the program who did graduate. Others blame everyone and everything else, and they keep making the same bad decisions. Are educators supposed to assist every child that doesn't help him or herself? Because, at some point, you have to say "enough is enough". If I teach a lesson to the class as a whole, and some students choose to disrupt, distract and thwart me, should it be my problem to force them to learn? Should I then take my time, time away from other students and my own family, to teach them one-on-one because they chose to not pay attention? I say no. Some kids fail. We don't have an education crisis, we have a parenting crisis. We have a responsibility crisis. But I'll never tell the evaluators that.