This is not going to be an uplifting story about how giving up on students is bad.
No, this is about a class I have where there are some students who are already amazing, some who are potentially amazing, and a select few who I have considered giving up on more than once. I’ve just had some very bad things happen to me and misbehaving bad students aren’t making my day better. *(I’ve been told to not consider some students good and some students bad; they have issues).
After trying so hard and not seeing any results in making them better people or even passing my class, I’m done with them.
These are the things I’ve considered doing and telling those bad students:
- I don’t care about you any more → I’ve cared and burned
- Talked to them one-on-one where they don’t feel threatened or have to put on a show for others
- Talked to other teachers – (1) to see how certain students learn best, (2) what can I do to minimize their immature noises?, (3) what works for you?
- Called parents/guardians – don’t care or don’t do anything or not in the picture
- Talked to counselors
- All of this I’ve done multiple times
- I don’t care whether you succeed or fail in life → I’ve told them to do the assignments and tests, and to turn them in, to follow the class rules because they serve purposes outside of school
- Don’t use your cell phone in class = you’re going to get fired for using your phone on the job. Yes, school is your job.
- Remove your hoods and hats when you enter my classroom (any room or building) = that’s the difference between people who get hired and people who don’t. Those hiring you will see you don’t know how to act in public = hurt their image
- If you’re not going to do your work, don’t waste other students’ time with your immature noises and disruptions = this is how you coexist in a society where there are other people. If you mess up with the wrong person one day, you’ll get your ass kicked and it’s not my fault, it’s yours for having not already practiced being a decent human being coexisting in a society
- The list goes on
- Changing the seating chart where they have their own corner and do whatever they want – if you fail my class, I have succeeded as a teacher; if you pass my class, I have failed as a teacher
- I know you will do nothing except disturb my class – I will intentionally give more (and purposeful) assignments so you will fail
I don’t have patience or care for these students any more. I’ve tried my best and I’ve tried everything in my power except make home visits. (I won’t bother VP’s and Principal’s busy schedules because I can’t do my job, but this is the reason why they continually be pains in the ass for their other teachers and classmates, unless the situation calls for VP and Principal’s involvement. Why must we continually suffer when we can’t have our boss back us up?)
I’ve given up on these students and I don’t feel bad about it. Think about all that have to be around this person. Why must we keep appeasing them when they show they have no redeeming qualities, nothing to value but intentionally harm, just a waste of time, space, and breath. Don’t bother coming to my class; don’t waste your time, don’t waste mine, don’t waste my good students’ time. I have standards; they’re not worth my time.
The more attention I give them, the less attention I’m giving my good students – the amazing and potentially amazing ones. Guess which students I’m doing meaningful activities for? Guess which students I’m choosing primary sources for?