Students deserve my full attention. However, my attentiveness becomes heavily veiled as my day tumbles. I prepare diligently: researching, consulting, reflecting, organizing, creating, and revising, with the sinking awareness of the excessive variables creating barriers to learning in the run of a work day. I am a well-educated teacher, but I do not yet have a medical degree, law degree, business degree, office management, data entry training, or culinary expertise. I look forward to a day in Nova Scotia when I will again be able to give my students my full attention.
I love the time I spend with my students. Sometimes the kids can get me to go off topic about some topic of the day, but in the end that builds relationships, which makes teaching and learning so much easier and better. It seems like I have less and less time to build those relationships, though, because my classes are so big (36 in one of them) and students’ needs are so diverse.So many more students seem to be experiencing anxiety and depression than even 10 years ago, not to mention diagnoses of ADHD, dyslexia, and a host of other, less well-known learning disabilities.
I want to give these kids the help they need. But it seems like the powers that be are more interested in tracking meaningless data than it in actually providing schools with the resources we need to help these kids. We don’t need better spreadsheets to punch our kids’ special needs and strategies into; we need actual human resources in the school to help deal with this variety of problems. Teachers are run off our feet trying to help these kids.