Mental Health Alert
At what point does a teacher have to let go of his students?
In the last two weeks, the tension between leaving no child behind and giving up has amassed outside the gates of my sanity. Some of my students might actually believe that I have already given in to the latter--and I couldn't blame them for believing it.
Teaching seniors has wonderful advantages. They have an excitement about them that I can readily recall from my schooling. But while I enjoy the maturity above the underclassmen, their apathy in May guts my emotions.
One student began the year with tremendous promise. I believe in this student's future--it holds so much promise. And yet, as we've progressed through the semester, that chair is often empty. It kills me. Maybe I should focus on the ones who do show up. Maybe I should realize that at least a handful are still reaching for the best.
I can't. I am too busy thinking about the one who has allowed her grades to slip, almost beyond salvaging (I could help if she'd come talk to me.) Instead, she just doesn't show up.
Focus on the young man who still asks deep questions about the book.
I can't. I am too busy wondering if the young man who always finds a reason to miss class will ever return. I believed in him, too.
When do I let go? When do I give in to what seems inevitable? No child left behind, says the government. But at what cost to me?