Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It can be Tough to Stay Positive

It's been a heck of a challenge to stay positive during these past couple weeks. I've been sick, but still somehow managing to do my 2 jobs, and I have been battling stress and the blues. Friday is "Pink Friday" where we stand up and protest all of the funds cut from education. Talk about challenging times!
At school I have some wonderful parents and some "other" parents who seem to undermine my hard work and efforts to help their children. I actually heard a parent instruct her child not to tell me if she needed help resolving a conflict because I "wouldn't be much help to her." She told her child that she was "better than the other kids anyway." Of course my hands are tied as somehow there is an unwritten rule that parents can bully teachers but not the other way around. This woman can walk into my classroom at any time and make her snide remarks, and there is not a thing I can do. Who is it going to hurt most? Her child, of course. I am an adult and I can get over it.
In another scenario, I have a kid in my class, who, after 10 foster homes, is finally getting adopted. She is five years old, got glasses last week so she could see, entered my class mid October and is struggling academically. Social workers, foster parents are up in arms about the school "not doing anything to help this child." Excuse me? Who let this child down? She has been with me for 83 days of school and she has made progress. She is sweet at times, highly inattentive, somewhat impulsive and makes odd facial expressions, possibly due to anxiety. It will take some time to truly evaluate her needs and provide the appropriate interventions and supports. For now, I work with her daily in small groups, redirect her often, stay close to her, and firmly love her and encourage her to believe in herself. Somehow, according to some people, this is not enough. I am dumbfounded.
This rant doesn't sound so positive until you realize that at the end of it.. the bottom line is.. I still love my job. I just am not the superhero they are looking for. I happen to be human.


  1. It sounds like the human you is doing the best you can. That is all we can ask of ourselves. Keep your passion. Fighting the good fight isn't easy.

  2. Thanks, you are right. I sometimes expect superhuman powers from myself when human is all I can do. My passion is alive and well, thankfully.

  3. Gosh, Joan, I can only imagine the challenges you face with parent's who think this is the right way to show concern for their child's well-being. I think a great deal of us (especially women) tend to place a lot of pressure on ourselves, when in reality there's only so much we can do. No one can fault you for trying to make a difference :-). Have a great week!

  4. Thanks so much CurvyGurl. It helps so much to share stories and feel understood and supported. You have a great week too!


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