This is a question that I ask myself every day. I love teaching and I love learning. Over the years, I have both loved and hated my job. I teach at a Title 1 school that is currently listed as a failing school. My excitement for teaching is high and I have very high expectations of my students. Behavior is the toughest issue because we have many children with mental and learning disabilities. If a child does not read on grade level by the end of third grade, they are 4 times less likely as their peers to graduate from high school by the age of 19. When poverty is figured into the equation, they are 13 times less likely to graduate.This information was posted in a study by the Anne E. Casey Foundation titled Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.
What I find is that many of our students do not really care about doing well in school. This often stems from home, where students are not read to by their parents. They do not have the positive, scholarly role models that they need in order to elevate school to the level of importance that it needs to have. Many days, I find my self becoming frustrated because of the disruptions that cause all students in my classes to be distracted and unwilling to participate. Usually, when I am at the end of my rope, something happens to excite me about teaching. Each day, I try to think through the day and remember those times when the bulb came on for a child. Last week, one of my poorer readers got truly excited about the infographics lesson that I was teaching. He immediately related to and understood the concept. I also had a couple of really sweet letters and cards from students for no apparent reason. These will always make my day!