Friday, March 19, 2010

Frustrated and Failing

"If 5% of your students are failing, then you are failing as a teacher."

If only 5% of my students were failing that would mean I would only have 10 failing students of the 200 students that I have.  Instead, 55% of my students are failing right now with only a week to go before I have to turn in grades.

Yes, right now, I feel like a failure of a teacher.  A failure because I do my best to contact parents, but when there is a language barrier it's hard to do and I feel like I failed to see the future and take Spanish instead of Italian (not that I can speak it anymore).  I send letters home (with Google translated Spanish) and have done so twice this quarter because that is the best way I can communicate with parents despite the fact I know the letters will probably never reach home.  I don't have the translation ability to call at 5, 6, 7 at night.

I think sometimes administrators and society forgets that the kids my colleagues and I work with are the ones that came to us with bad study habits, apathy, no support, and bad attitudes.  They came to us having failed and not on the course for graduation.  Of my two hundred students, every single one of them had failed English previously.  Helping one child to learn and pass is a success, let alone 90 of them.

As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water...".

But I'm so frustrated because I'm trying so hard to find ways to get my horses, all my horses, to drink.


  1. I was watching Ice Princess yesterday with M. and the subject of teachers comes up a few times in there. I cannot begin to imagine the stress you are under and do agree that its all too easy to judge from the outside.

  2. Thanks. It's not easy to keep my mouth shut when those that shouldn't judge do.