I had a really bad day at work on Friday. I had to write up two students during one class period. A boy was upset that I said it was his responsibility to be sure that I check his vocabulary work each day and tell me if I missed him. I don't care if students don't like that I make them responsible for those kinds of things--they are seniors and should be responsible. However, he spent the next few minutes mouthing loudly about how unfair I am and how it's my fault he made a 75 instead of a 100. When I told him the subject was closed, he finally shut up, but not before he said one more thing. So I wrote up a discipline referral on him. Then a few minutes later, a girl didn't like my response to her question, which she thought was "stupid." When I tried to explain my reply to her, she said, "Shut up. And don't say anything else to me." I immediately sent her to the assistant principal's office and went to the office to turn in the discipline referral on her.
Her father came up a little while later, and we had to have a conference in the AP's office. The father was a real jerk, wearing his insulated army coveralls--the temp on the Gulf coast on Friday was probably 90, not cool enough to need insulated anything. I'm sure he thought he would intimidate me, but he picked the wrong woman to intimidate. Of course, he thought I was at fault for the incident, and it didn't matter what I said he wouldn't change his opinion. The third time he said, "I know how teachers are. I know how the teachers at this school are"--said in a very negative tone. I told him that I would not stay there any longer and let him judge me based on some past experience he had had with another teachers, and that I would not sit there and let him continue to characterizing me or by co-workers as bad teachers and bad people. And I left the room.
In addition to these incidents, I had an email from a parent of a special ed student. She wants me to allow her son to not use electronic keypads to take his vocabulary tests because he told her that he was having trouble doing it. She absolutely refused to acknowledge that he made an 84 on the test before the most recent one. When I suggested that we encourage him to give the keypads one more time, she flatly refused sighting his special needs as proof that he can't be successful with the keypads. I just don't understand how parents think that immediately giving in to a child's complaint teaches them anything.
I am still depressed over these incidents as well as the realization they caused in me. I truly HATE being a teacher now. My supplies of patience, sympathy, and empathy are completely exhausted. I just can't care enough anymore about students who need special help. I know that this is a horrible thing to say, but I don't want to work hard enough to figure out how to accommodate the needs of special education children or underachievers. I can only tolerate teaching students who are average or above average. I think that many so-called learning disabled students are given too much help. I think that we, as a society, have enabled them to expect accommodations instead of teaching them how to cope and overcome their disabilities.
I feel like a fraud, and I'm not sure that I will be able to keep up the masquerade for the remainder of the year. Even when I have a good day at work, I feel the weight of my discontent in every quiet moment. I never want to go to bed at night because I know that the earlier I go to bed the earlier I will have to get up and go to work.
Sadly, even knowing that I am working on getting out of the classroom provides me with no solace. I have to find a new job. I wonder if I could get out of my contract in December. I have known teachers who have done that; maybe I will check into the possibility of doing that.