Good Teachers Need Thick Skin | Best PowerPoints for Spanish | Angie Torre

Good Teachers Need Thick Skin

      The beginning of the year is tough on teachers.  Until students get used to the classroom procedures, classroom chores are assigned and routinely performed, students get used to each teacher’s expectations, and teachers' assistants become available.  Not to mention the incredible exhaustion one feels until the body accustoms itself to awakening and retiring early.  But those are easy problems.

Good Teachers Need Thick Skin

     For 30 years I have been the “bad parent”, the teacher who holds the students accountable, and I am tired.  It wears on a person to continually push against students’ apathy, encouraging them to work hard and excel. At the beginning of the school year, there were 35 students enrolled in each class.  Now there are barely over 20 with more clamoring to get out.  I am the only teacher in my department who gives homework detention to students who do not do homework because experience has shown me that if I don’t, they won’t do it, and if they do it, they will become proficient.  (I call it tutorial because I help them but it doesn’t matter what I call it; they hate it.)

     So what if all my students pass the AP Spanish test with 4s and 5s!  Students want out of my class!  Some loudly proclaim, “I want outta this class!” and go running to their counselors who casually oblige them.  After all, they don’t really NEED Spanish Three, not if it means they have to actually study and work.  One student told me, “I like how Mr. So and So teaches better.  I want to go to his class.”  Another said, “I don’t need Spanish.  I might not even go to college.”  

     I whined to my V.P. and she said, “Don’t take it personally.”  I need a “Don’t take it personally” pill.  It hurts.  Until I realize they don’t know what they are doing.  They’re kids.  Like I was in high school when I took all easy classes so I wouldn’t have to work.  And no counselor said, “You’re going to be bored.  Why don’t you take….”  I so regret all the classes I didn’t take.

    Please, if you can identify with these thoughts and feelings, send me some, “I understand” emails so we can commiserate.  I know at the end of the term I will be so proud of how my students are performing, but at the beginning, when they can barely communicate in the language (that’s a complaint for another day), and they don’t want to try, it sucks the life out of me.  And I am so so sad for those students who could have learned Spanish and changed their lives in the process but chose not to.  If you would like to send me some love on this topic, my email is: altespoir@sbcglobal.net

     Happy Teaching!  Don’t take it personally and develop THICK SKIN!  (Like I’ve never been able to.)