First day of school in 2013

Today was a good day. 🙂
– Kids were (pretty) good.

– Most of the winter packets were finished and only 3 science posters were not turned in!

– Principal came in while I was lecturing my kids on how I could be chilling at a resort in Mexico right now but was here teaching this wonderful lesson on medieval Euro geography (JC: Aww, Ms. Kim, you should’ve just gone), AND my objective AND notes title was on the board.

– My Doc Cam from DonorsChoose came!

But the best part was this:
In the morning, JG, my student who is definitely my top student, who’s also really sweet, came in! She was supposed to move to NV over winter break because her dad was there and thought her mom was a bad influence on her. Anyway she told me that she “begged [her] dad to let [her] stay,” which made me happy to have her back.

But this also makes me think. I obviously think it’s better for her here because schools in Reno aren’t that great. BUT, I also wonder if I’m overstepping my bounds.. I’m the teacher, not the parent, and although I think I’m right, and I’m glad she’s here, I also wonder if it’s right for her to trust my words over her parents. But then again, maybe her father wasn’t too serious about making her go? I don’t know.  It’s strange.  The closer I get to my students and know more of their home life, the harder it is not to make excuses for them (oh, of course they’re not turning in homework, her mom has a tumor, his father beats his mother, he doesn’t have a permanent address, etc).  It’s also harder for me to empathize with their parents.  

I firmly believe in parental engagement, and that was something I disliked at my school since my encounters with parents are minimal (everything goes through the principal).  Yet at the same time, I’m grateful, because it leaves me time to just focus on teaching.  Yet now as I get to know students and their family situations, I’m so proud of my students and all the obstacles they overcame (horrible spelling, horrible grammar, etc) but it’s hard to see that part of their obstacles are their families.  Their families don’t realize what is necessary for college.  For my girls, their parents don’t really push college (generalization, some parents DO), and for girls like JG, I just want her to be with me.  She’s SO bright and talented.  Am I being too presumptuous to think things won’t work out if she’s not with me?  (I mean.. stats/research *is* on my side….)

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