You can either calm down or I can pop you in the mouth…

Entitlement and apathy keep rearing their ugly heads.   I love teaching, don’t get me wrong, but today was a true test of patience.   The students are feeling more and more entitled as the days go by and see nothing wrong with their behavior.

Example 1

Last Friday we had a test in class.  A student decided to ask the teacher of the class before mine to go to health services because her ankle hurt.   She missed the test.  She was back from health services by lunch time.  She never came to find me to tell me why she missed the test or when she can make it up.   Today she asked me when she should make up the test.  I told her last Friday after school.  She then responded, but it was Friday and I left right after school.  I asked her why she didn’t come see me to tell me why she wasn’t there.  She again responded with it was Friday and I had to get a ride home so I couldn’t do it.  I told her I wasn’t sure if I would let her make up the test but she could come after school to find out.

She came after school and showing some pity I told her she can take the test but she will be losing 25 points as a punishment.  She became argumentative and told me she refused and my offer was “unreasonable”.  So I told her fine she can have a zero.  She took the test.   However no matter how much I communicated with her about her mistake she refused to acknowledge she did anything wrong.  She actually believed there was nothing wrong with skipping out on a test and the expectation she can make it up when she feels like it.

Example #2

I went to go over materials in the book.  A student was sitting at his desk with his head in his hands and his eyes closed with no book in front of him.   I began explaining the material, he made no effort to listen.   As one thing led to another due to other circumstances and lack of attentiveness from students I decided I am not going to waste either of our pressure time and let them read it to themselves and complete the work.  The student who had his head down decided to take out his book quickly do the assignment and put his book away.   When he did this I asked if he understood what he read, he said no, but he did what I asked so that was enough because I don’t teach anyway.  I reminded when I went to teach he didn’t even take out a book or open his eyes.  He then became argumentative and had the audacity to say “I am in a bad mood and you should know that you need to leave me alone.”  This is from a 15 year old.

Some of these students I have coached for years in both soccer and baseball, in fact this student who spoke to me like this was a player of mine.  Which when I reminded him he responded “Then you should know not to bother me”.  He is also a student I let borrow my own personal glove that I spent my hard earned money on for baseball….which he lost and never even apologized for.   Yes, this is what I put up with, a student ungratefully uses my $80 glove, loses it, feels no need to replace it because “It wasn’t my fault I lost it” and then has the audacity to speak to me the way he did today.

He then went on to whine and complain and berate me as a teacher.  I had to sit there and take it.  Because as a teacher we can’t haul off and put a person in their place.  I am much smarter than the students I have.  I could cut them up and leave them speechless with my witty banter.  However I cannot, I have to stand there and take it as the other students laugh and the one student feels more empowered.  I urge any of you to try and take this for a few seconds.

The worst part is that we are supposed to be sensitive when punishing students.   This means they can get away with more stuff.  I asked a student to get into dress code and he responded with “hop off my dick”.   Did he get suspended? Nope.  Did I have to sit there and take it? Yup.

We have to do the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning.  For some reason so many of our students believe they don’t have to, or disrespect the flag by refusing to say it.  I have a student talk during it, some put their hands in their pockets and just turn their back to the flag.   This gets my blood boiling like you wouldn’t believe.  Here is a population that people have died so they can have the right to freedom, to education, to life.   A country where people can vote and change their future, a country where protest can bring about change.   Not a country where protest causes public executions, imprisonment, and beatings.   Yet they think they have the right to turn their back on this?

In all honesty it makes me want to send them to a developing country where they have no rights, no freedoms, and are forced into labor just to gain some perspective.

I am scared, I am scared because these are the people that will drag this country down from abuse of government aid, a government they refuse to pledge an allegiance to, yet will gladly take money from.   This type of attitude is what will cause hard working individuals to have increased taxes so they can be supported.   I am fighting everyday tooth and nail, bloodying my fingers to the bone to try and show them the right path in life.  But the feeling that it is all for naught keeps creeping up on me.  That they will never learn and the sacrifices I am making financially, mentally, and physically will amount to nothing keeps whispering in my ear.

Where are the students I remember from a few years ago, the ones who care? The ones with pride? With respect?  Why is it in the last few years entitlement and apathy is the dominant behavior over sacrifice and respect?

Ah, I feel better now that I vented, but before I go, I just needed to show this, there is a lot of truth to it….wish we could implement this……


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