Happy Friday and welcome to the latest edition of Five Minute Friday‘s link-up. Each week bloggers around the world use the same prompt to inspire short pieces that they spent five minutes crafting. For years, this community of writers has been a great inspiration to me and supported my blog and business. I love showing up to share pieces and read posts from my FMF friends.
This week the prompt is: Carry.
Educators are in the midst of a discipline upheaval. Even the most seasoned teachers are experiencing a lack of respect and discipline from students in their classrooms. Teachers around the world are leaving the profession at disturbing rates and many blame the pandemic of student apathy for ending their careers.
Like all educators, I have faced some of these problems this school year. I have outrageous stories about the actions and words of students in my school that I would never share on the internet. Most days I find myself disheartened by the way in which students disregard their own learning and expect the teachers to cater to their needs and desires.
While many are tempted to blame the blatant lack of appropriate social skills, I believe that the issue facing students in 2021-2022 is of a different origin. Sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped. But in my humble opinion, we are teaching students who are carrying more than any other student population of the past. And this calls for a shift in our mindsets as teachers.
There have always been students living in poverty, unsafe homes, and states of mental health crises. But what the students of today carry that is exclusive to this crew is the collective experience of the past two years.
They have grown up in a world where the grown-ups have set poor examples on self-control and peacefulness.
They have traded much of the primes of their adolescence for a world of fear and apathy. Life has been uncertain for most of the days that their memory serves.
As adults, we are equipped with the ability to perservere and we remember a world before all of the disruptions. These students have no True North to which to look when they need to remember that these struggles are temporary.
Instead of finding myself burnt out like so many other educators, I am looking for ways to help students to carry these loads. I find that when I try to ask about the issues they shoulder and give them voice in the classroom then many of the discipline issues subside. Being reactive is no longer an acceptable role of a classroom teacher. We must meet our students and give them space to let down the loads that they bear in order to rest. We must help them learn to carry the loads that show no sign of disappearing anytime soon.
As much as we long for our controlled environments before the pandemic, we have to admit that those days are behind us. We will never again live in a world that Covid-19 did not touch. So instead of trying to run things the way we always have, we must remember that the goals of teaching have shifted. Before we can teach a student to read, we have to build their strength as individuals so that they can continue to carry those things that weigh heaviest on their shoulders.
The Ameri Brit Mom
9 thoughts on “Carry: Five Minute Friday”
And so the world has gone to hell
and so we see no hope,
but at the ring of schoolyard bell
we’re expecting kids to cope
with a world they didn’t make
and much less understand;
how much compassion does it take
to reach out, take their hand?
Our offer may be slapped away,
but, truly, that’s their right;
we’re architects of this fell day,
creators of the blight
by which was soiled the Great Commission
in sins of action and omission.
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I teach too and couldn’t agree more. Kids don’t have the stamina they used to but they also don’t have the tools they need to press on. This isn’t necessarily a new problem but it has escalated in the last few years. That’s why I teach a Character Club after school based on the Character Club series of books. It started with 17 girls 9 years ago. Baby steps. You never know which kid may be inspired to go change the world. You are doing good and hard work. Keep pressing on!
Allie, I am so interested to know more about Character Club. What a great idea!
You can read the history and what it’s about at http://www.CharacterClubOnline.com
I had to remind a father of this recently. His daughter is in Kindergarten and he was saying that she comes home and talks his and his wife’s ears off. I reminded him that she has to sit still and be quiet all day, and the stress of masks, no masks, plus school itself is a whole new experience, and the adults around her are more stressed than ever. Let her talk and move around and get it all out. Everyone is carrying more than ever. Thanks for sharing.
Cindy, I totally agree! We are all doing the best we can in this unprecedented time.
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Thank you for your prospective, many do like to blame rather than finding a way to help. I am grateful to teachers like you who see beyond the attitudes and struggles and desire to still positively impact the person. I pray your continued strength and compassion. #FMF
Thank you so much. I don’t always get it right, but I strive to do better every day at keeping the positive perspective on student discipline.
Children and young people these days have so much more to carry than we did – we didn’t have the “perfection” of social media thrust at us constantly, 24/7 access to news of the worst kind, peer pressure to be rebellious/cool/thin/achieving etc. No wonder they’re all worn down by the constant pressures they face!
Just stopped by from FMF#34