I haven’t been on the blog horn or even Twitter that much other than #MSMathChat, and that is because right now I am struggling a bit to keep my head above water this year. There is a lot going on (and taking Grad classes on top of everything wasn’t a good call).
This post is gonna be short, but it just hit me yesterday and I wanted to get it on my blog so I have it and remember.
This week has been fairly slow, I have had 6 new students come in and 6 leave. I’m getting used to that, it really makes trying to keep a cohesive classroom hard- but I have been managing. That’s not the factor that hit me, it’s this one:
70% of my current students are return students.
Normally high school teachers don’t bat an eye at that statistic, in fact they expect a lot higher one, but not when you are teaching in a Juvenile Center. That number means that even though these students get a grip on their lives while they exist within these walls, they can’t maintain that when they go back home.
As a parent of a 5 and 8 year olds, I am getting more and more sensitive to factors that influence their lives, their behaviors, their choices. When I talk to my “returning” students, they have ALL told me that they go back home fully intending to keep out of trouble, yet they fall into the same group negatives or they can’t cope with the bad family environment at home. As a teacher and parent, this makes me immensely sad.
(this is a random picture taken from the WWW, it is not any student that is enrolled in my school or staff that works at my school)
Our youth make their own choices, but many are too unsure of themselves to be confident to walk their own path individually. They need their friends and family, and if those happen to be a negative influence on them- returning them to that environment is setting them up for failure. I don’t know what the correct answers are for this issue, they go beyond my scope of expertise or experience, but I am beginning to believe that in order to truly change things for these students then those outside factors also need to go through the “treatment” processes these children face.
We can’t keep placing them in the same situation and expecting different results.
All children deserve to be loved, and have a safe positive environment to learn and grow in.