Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sad


I was deeply saddened this last Thursday and Friday. I was so affected by what happened that for the first time in 3 years of teaching - I did not want to be a teacher anymore. I have never felt that way before. I have had my share of behavior students. I have never had such a bad problem with stealing before. I had arranged a yo-yo assembly as a drug-free activity. I was supposed to sell yo-yos all last week as a follow-up to the assembly. I found 2 of them missing on Thursday. It had to have been one or more of my students. I searched everywhere and could not find them. I find out on Friday that there was at least 2 separate stealing incidences in my room. I was so saddened that one or more students could steal from me after being in our classroom for so long. We have been together for 8 months now. I spend more time with them than with my real kids. I think I provide an educationally challenging environment. We do many interesting, educational, yet fun activities. I do a monthly movie and snack. I guess it was not enough. Is it a case of more, more, more? It was the first time that I felt such despair. This led me to create this piece. As soon as I saw this pict, I knew that this was how I felt. No matter what I said or did, it would not stop them from doing whatever they wanted. It did not matter what I could have said or done, their characters allowed them to do such a thing. I felt betrayed and deeply saddened. It will be business as usual tomorrow. We are starting on a new writing project. Only this time, I will be more leery and keeping an eye on things more. I should not have to do that. I want to go back to being naive.

9 comments:

Contessa Kris said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this in your classroom. I can see how it would be disheartening. I hope your spirits are lifted this week by something they do well. Beautiful and haunting piece you made though...

Anonymous said...

Belinda, I joined your art explorations group some time ago, but have never introduced myself, intended to "get around to it sometime"...but after reading this entry I thought I'd offer an alternative explanation for you to consider. I used to work with jr. high special ed kids. Every spring we'd have a rash of things going missing from the classroom. The teacher I worked with said it happened every year. That, for these kids especially, stealing was how they expressed the separation anxiety they were feeling. They loved this teacher. And they were scared stiff of having to cope without her. If you are the teacher you seem to be, could it be that the effect you've had on these students has been of such depth and impact that they also struggle with separation anxiety? Maybe not. I don't know your students. But I thought it was worth considering. Judy from NY

Carolyn said...

Dear Belinda,
"Sad" is so moving and expresses just what I am feeling at the moment for completely different reasons. This image really expresses your pain and I am sorry your two students hurt you so much.

Lisa said...

Belinda, "Sad" is beautifully done and expresses your emotions so well. I'm sorry you had to experience this stealing incident. All I can say is that if 2 of your 20 students stole something, 18 didn't and I'm sure you're making a positive impression on them. Chin up and don't let it keep you down for the sake of the rest of the good kids.

altermyworld said...

WOW this is so powerful. While I found your telling of the stealing compelling, what really touched me was the last sentence "I want to go back to being naive" That part of us that is stripped, the innocence that is gone, THAT is the sad part. I'm sorry for that.Your art so wonderfuully protrays that.
Ang

Gypsy said...

The art struck my soul...EXACTLY how I feel right now, I have just been so SAD...PERFECT! PROFOUND! HEALING!

I am sorry you are no longer naive! Did you talk to your class about the incident? Maybe you need to say some thing about what character is and how we choose a path...Do you have email with the parents? You could always ask if some showed up at home?... Hugs

Linda said...

Dear Belinda,
I am so sad for you. I am reminded of the story of the snake, however. You know the one; the fellow notices a snake on the side of the road and decides to save it. After a lengthy process of trying to heal it, it bites him. He says to the snake, "how could you have done that to me after all I have done for you?" and the snake says, "because I am a snake, and it is my nature." So you see, you don't have to carry the burden of your much beloved students and their behavior. For some, it is simply because they are who they are by nature." Hope you find some peace with this.

Jan of Albuquerque said...

Belinda,

Your experience moved me...as a retired elementary teacher for nearly 20 years, I too am upset about the change in students' behavior. I am sorry you had this disappointment...I know you have provided a very rich learning environment for each student. It is discouraging. Jan

bill b. said...

I know I am late to comment, but being a teacher myself I just wanted to say that I admire your sensitivity to these young people. It unfortunately reminds me how jaded I have become in the 24 years I have been teaching art at the Community College level. I used to think I was a pretty good teacher, but with the newer crop of kids(with attitudes like you have alluded to) I am looking more longingly at retirement. When you give all you have and it is not enough, it does sadden one. Just don't give up. I have seen your work. The gift you have is so exceptional, even if just a few grasp it, it is worth it. As long as you can.
cheers, bill b.