Monday, August 2, 2010

LAST week!

Adam has two and a half days of school until summer begins for him. He and I are both looking forward to the end of the year and the start of summer.

Teachers often look forward to the end of a year and the beginning of a break, however, this year we are especially celebrating!

Adam has had a tough year, to understate it.

First of all, when Adam's school became a "track" school it was a huge blessing for us so that Adam could stay home with Hannah until October while I went to do student teaching. Adam volunteered to take the dreaded track 2. For those unfamiliar with Clark County's track system it is a 1-5 system with the lowest/behavior kids placed in the bottom two tracks and the highest kids with the most supportive family life are in tracks 4 and 5. People say this is a myth but I have witnessed it first hand with SEVERAL classes across a couple schools.

Nobody could believe Adam volunteered for track 2.

He has had a total of 11 "behavior" students as they are called. Most of his kids come from single parent homes (if they live with parents at all).

His students have:

Started a fire, right off of school property
One brought a gun to school on track break
Thrown desks/chairs/ and other forms of tantrums
Yelled/ threatened/ argued (on a daily basis)
Become physically violent

For the most part these were not isolated incidents.

For one student, Adam was asked to document his behavior so they could present it to the mother in hopes of an intervention. In a 7 hour period, he documented at least 90 items. They were not simple behavior problems:

Leaving the class to yell at first graders across the hall
Getting up in the middle of Adam's lesson and pretending to give birth on his desk
Pretending to ride a horse "galloping" around the classroom.

He had one student that more than once he has considered adopting and asked me to consider it as well. I don't know if I could handle a 4th almost 5th grader but if she needed it and it was the right thing to do we would pray about it and try.

This is what my poor husband has had to deal with on a daily basis. He has not had one break (he substitutes at his school during his track break) and is ready for the end of the year.

The hardest part for Adam is that he is a fantastic teacher. He has had other classes as a third and fourth grade teacher that he loves, that he misses when the end of the year comes, that I miss when the end of the year comes. He feels like such a bad teacher now, he feels like a failure. I hate seeing him feel that way because I know he is an excellent educator, he was just dealt some rough kids (who don't have the easiest lives themselves and neither Adam nor most of the students have support from the parents/guardians).

So here is to a week of new beginnings!


Bea said...

It's not fair, some kids don't stand a chance. Life can be difficult and when you don't have a happy home life to fall back on it is sad. Fortunately Adam had a great support group.
Chin up Adam. As Melissa has quoted, life has it's ups and downs.
Enjoy a break!!!!

Georgia said...

Adam and Dani should compare notes about their students. They could write an amazing book chronicling some of the incredibly terrible home life situations of their students and how that relates to bad behavior with others and in the classroom. Teachers are the true heroes of the world; I admire those who are willing to work at such a difficult job, for such a small income and yet they are the ones who are shaping the future through the education of these young people...what a huge responsibility! Hang in there, Adam!

Melissa said...

I feel for those kids, it makes me sad and angry but I also think about the Laminites and how they were taught the "foolish traditions of their fathers" and
I have hope that someday the cycle that has been taught will be reversed and later down the line they will be able to get themselves out of the cycle.

Adam is definitaly one of my heros and I agree Georgia-- wonderful people like Dani and Adam and all the other teachers deserve better than what they get!