Friday, April 17, 2015

You can lead a horse to water....but you can't make it drink.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.  This is a saying my Dad often said.
As our school year winds down, the kids are tired, the teachers are tired, the parents are tired.  Typically we sssllliiiidddeee out the end of the year – trying to keep the kiddos motivated to give it their last push, less than 15 days for one who will graduate, and maybe 22 for the others.  It is a challenge we hit every year.
Apathy sets in, they don’t care.  I can encourage, bribe and try to motivate all I can – but if they don’t have it in them… is like leading a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. I’ve one child who has it bad right now.
Field trips will start, one complains of having NOTHING to do in school and that being bored is worse than having too much to do.  I’d be for ending school even earlier, as once the state testing is done – is it a long slide to home plate. 
Some teachers show this tired trend more than others, some stay motivated to teach, others like the kids are slacking all the way.  My daughter said her math teacher hates repeating the lesson, but she often doesn’t get it the first time it is done, so she asks for help.  This teacher plays favorites as well, so she has learned to go up to “listen” over the shoulder when the teacher’s pets get a nice explanation, because he doesn’t give her the same treatment.  The other day, she said he asked if there were questions, she raised her hand, he ignored her and said to get to work then.  She went up to ask for help and he said he couldn’t right then, so she went to sharpen her pencil, looked at his screen and noted that he was harvesting his crops on Farmville.  She told me she called him down on it, he said they needed to be harvested.  Really. She says he is a nice guy, just a bad teacher. He sounds burned out to me.  She has to have him one more year.  She usually gets the Special Ed helper to re-explain the math.  Then the math teacher gets mad if they ask other teachers, (guess it shows he isn’t helping them, dah!)  one time he even yelled at the Special Ed teacher for helping the kids and explaining it in a way they could understand.  Serious issues here.  The kids know it as well, it doesn’t help their level of buy in either.  I’m sure there are households out there that have NO clue what I’m talking about.  That is OK.   I see teachers ranting on social media about how underpaid they are, overworked etc – like you didn’t know what teachers earned before you got your 4 year degree or what the job entailed?  With the state budget cuts – some should find new professions, there are lots of new graduates eager and wanting to teach with a freshness, newness and energy needed and positions are hard to find right now for many because of cut backs. We have MANY great teachers in our district as well, those that awe me with their care and dedication and enthusiasm….my kids know who the good ones are too and talk about how great they are, fun they make learning and how they challenge them to learn in new ways.  Wish there was a better system to deal with this.  OK, rant done.
So, if ya’ll have any great ideas on how to stop this annual downhill from happening, comment away! 
I think I’ll go drink some water.

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