Okay-- see, the thing is, I've got a meeting with my boss tomorrow. Now the last time I had one of these, it threw me into a week long depression. I was told that our demographic completely changed, and yet our falling test scores were still all my fault. I was told that I needed to change the way that I taught for the simple goal of improving the way our kids put pencils on paper. I was told that all of the problems in my classroom were caused by me, and I had to be a better facilitator to make them go away.
I gave up. I had one too many days of saying, "Yes. This IS all my fault. If I were a better person, gave better directions, had curriculum more tailored to the test, I WOULDN'T hate my job quite so much." So, given that I already sucked as a person and an educator, I said fuck it, and started referring kids like there was no tomorrow and teaching the old-fashioned way that probably doesn't really work because the test scores were falling and it was all my goddamned fucking fault.
I gave them questions, made them sit down, shut up, read the fucking book (or, once they did the first two, i read it to them) and we ANSWERED THE FUCKING QUESTIONS. I referred anybody who got in my way. I'm still referring anybody who gets in my way. I don't even care if the referrals go through, as long as the little fuckers are THE HELL OUT OF MY ROOM when they're not in the mood to sit down and shut up. I mean screw it-- I suck as a teacher and I can't do my job anyway, right?
After a week of me being in a bitchy-assed mood, an odd thing happened today. They started asking questions. They started agreeing that, yes, Tom Buchanan was a class-A prick-asshole-fuckhead, and yes, Daisy Buchanan was a douchebag-bitch-twunt, and that Gatsby got a raw deal and the end of this book is REALLY fucked up.
They got it.
Oddly enough, all they had to do to get it was to sit down and shut the fuck up.
This leads me to a rather redemptive epiphany.
I don't suck as a teacher. It's not all my fault. And you know what? It really IS the student's responsibility to walk into my classroom and learn. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. I've always believed that it all came down to the literature--the literature would shine through, no matter how badly I bollixed the delivery.
Seems I was right.