So, neither Shayla or myself has posted since July....it's February! We have both been so busy and overworked this year after moving up from 2nd to 3rd grade. We are definitely noticing that there is a HUGE difference between the two grades. I, for one, am sad that they have seemed to have lost their innocence. Between our two classes and our other co-worker's class, we have had 3rd graders talking about sex, "play" fighting, slapping, punching, no motivation, and a HUGE lack of caring about their learning.
Seriously, I am at a loss of what to do! I cannot seem to wrap my brain around how 8 and 9 year olds know anything about sex. They're talking about people in other classes having sex, "going out", cheating on each other....we've had kids say horrible things and write horrible notes to each other. "I'm breaking up with you B****!" "If you cheat on me, I'll kill you." And the one that made my mouth drop was when my kids were caught singing in the cafeteria "Bobby and Suzy sittin' in a tree, F***ING." Seriously???? What happened to swinging on the swings, jumping rope, playing kickball or tether ball??? The things that our kids are talking about are things that weren't even in my realm of thought until at least the middle of high school, if not later.
And on top of all of the sex talk from our kids, the district keeps piling things on us, our principal is SUPER stressed and takes it out on us, and then we take it out on the kids. Our scores don't show that we're having any effect on the students' learning and it breaks my heart that they are more interested in having boyfriends/girlfriends than they are about knowing how to read, write, or do math. I was always the type of kid that wanted to do well and wanted to please everyone. I had stellar grades and was very upset with myself when I didn't do well. Quite a few of our 3rd graders seem to be completely fine with being considered Below Basic or Basic when it comes to our Acuity testing (which predicts how they will do on the MAP test in April).
I can feel myself starting to not care anymore. Seeing my kids not care one bit about how they do on a test or what they learn each day really gets to me. I went into teaching thinking that I was going to make a huge difference in the lives of my students, but I feel very defeated right now. Sometimes I think, "Well, they don't care, so why should I?" I feel like the worst teacher in the world when I catch myself thinking this way. I'm busting my butt to get lesson plans done, finding fun/different stations each week, searching the Pinterest and blogs for AMAZING ideas to bring into the classroom, only to find that my great, wonderful ideas are met with a lack of caring, disrespect, and lack of motivation. Is anyone else out there having this problem? If so, what do you do to overcome these feelings?