So, I was at lunch today with some of my friends and we got to talking about the education system and all of the recent events in the NYC Dept of Ed. Cathie Blacks resignation certainly seems like a step in the right direction, and of course we all have high hopes that her replacement, Dennis Walcott will be better. But at the end of the day, how much hope/responsibility can we put on one person to change an entire system? And even with the most dedicated, hard working teachers working for these students, how much can we expect them to accomplish much without the support of the families, without that added reinforcement at home? And, on top of that, how can we expect parents who are struggling to get by, many of them almost children themselves, to be 100% present for their children when they are often working two jobs just to make ends meet? Where, and with whom, does the blame lie? And the million dollar question that everyone seems to be trying to answer: how do we fix it?
Its not an easy question, and I dont know that there is really one, solid, easy answer. I can say from my own experience that it is so disheartening to be in a home where parent involvement is minimal, if at all existent. Often times, I barely get a nod and a complacent smile as I try to explain what the progress report that I am asking her to sign means. And while I try not to take it personally, I cant help but think to myself how much better these students would be doing if they had the reinforcement and support of the parent.
Of course, not all families are like this. A lot of my students have families/parents who DO really care about their kids, and are so happy to have my help. Many of them actually cook for me and treat me almost as part of their family whenever I am there. Its sweet. But its definintely the exception to the rule.
When most of us were growing up, we were taught to respect and almost fear our teachers. Next to your parents, they held the most authority in our lives. But nowadays, the student/teacher relationship has completely changed. It is often the teacher who fears the student, and with good reason. You hear all the time about teachers being hurt by violent students. Often times they talk openly about the gangs that they are involved with.
Anyway, like the title of this post implies, this is a rambling post…i havent been able to form any solid opinions or ideas on what my personal idea for a solution to the problem is…at the end of the day I guess that all I can do is show up for the student, give them my all, and hope that in some small way I am making a difference in their lives… I guess thats all any of us can do really….
Im off to plan/prep for another busy week ahead…. have a good nite everyone…