Confessions

Do you have funny or inspiring classroom stories? We want to hear them!

Whether your day was filled with uplifting stories, funny moments, or frustrations from the classroom, this is the only place to share it with millions of other educators in the same shoes as you, without being judged or criticized! 

FAQs

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#27147

School here is shut down until Tuesday after Easter… After the year I’ve had so far, I don’t care so much that I’m relieved. My students are going to come back not knowing how to play their instruments anymore, but I just don’t care. I’m so over it. I feel like a terrible teacher, but…

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#27027

I am teaching in a Washington middle school right now. School just got shut down for 6 weeks due to CoronaVirus. The district has no idea what we’re going to do for ‘online learning’ leaving the students, parents, and teachers stressed.
Many kids are extremely sad that they won’t be at school for 6 weeks and I feel for those kids who may not get meals, love, or support over the next 6 weeks.
It’s a scary time and I hope we all make it out the other side.

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#27104

I had a little boy in our Pre-K tell me all about his hard day. He said “I just got the struggles!” It suddenly occurred to me, that’s exactly what I have all the time! I’ve got the Struggles…who knew!

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#26788

Quote yesterday:

*student A is messing around*
me: [Student A], you’re gonna drive me up the wall
Student A: you can’t really go up a wall!
Student B: WATCH HER.

My power is increasing… mwa ha ha!

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#26158

This week I had the f-word yelled in my face 5 times, sent kids out of class for talking about “p*ssy juice”, and had a kid take my contact lenses and mash them into a computer keyboard. School response was to give the “p-juice” offenders lunch detention. No discipline for f-word yelling, no discipline for destroying my property.

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#24786

I have a 10th grade student in my high school science class that has been in foster care for the past few months. I have taught her older brother, older sister and now her (for the 2nd time, I had her in another class freshman year). I have built a relationship with all three troubled children. When others couldn’t get through to them I could. She hasn’t been getting along with her foster family lately. She told me 2 days ago she might be moving in with her grandmother about 2 hours away! I am heart broken that she was absent today and I didnt even get to say goodbye. Everyone keeps saying she wint be back. I have no idea if this is a better situation or not and I am worried sick for her, her sister and other siblings. I knew these kids would affect my life, I just never realised how much and how sad it could be.

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#24783

I have been a dedicated middle school teacher for over a decade, but the current kids have broken me. EVERYONE has failed them. Most dont care because mommy will bail them out. The ones who want to do well are lost because so many shitheads everywhere, draining everyone and all the resources.

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#24744

Recently I had an interaction with a guardian who was angry that basically their student fell through the cracks of a special education program that I am responsible for.

They were right. They were also frustrated with me cause they felt that I was being wishy washy and not being upfront with them. Which is also true. Because I am not allowed to tell parents or others a very unpleasant truth about what I do as a special education teacher.

I run a program that is designed to have a smaller caseload for students who in theory can be included in the general education setting with substantial supports.

What has happened is that I am managing a caseload that is well beyond the capacity it was originally designed for (but still compliant with the contract as the district would want to point out) and filled mostly with students whose main area of concern is trauma, poverty, and an unkind world.

The guardian was explaining to me that their student has had a very difficult history that has led to the student developing trauma and stunting the student’s emotional development. All true, and at this point for me very common. The guardian was trying to emphasize how abnormal the student’s experience has been compared to other children, but I see it all too often.

As I think about the story of this student I can also think about the several children under 5 who received 2nd degree burns from their parents. One of whom was told to blame their sister, who was only a year older. I remembered the girl with diagnosed psychosis whose mother did not refill the child’s prescription which ended with said child 4 miles away from home at 3 a.m. getting into a car with an unfamiliar older man carrying a gun. By the grace of god he dropped her off at a youth shelter. I remember the extended period where I watched a boy’s cast turn grey and black as it literally rotted off the broken bone it was supposed to support. I remember each of the children who were ten who talked about killing themselves. And there are more past and present, so many more.

The guardian I mentioned at the beginning has every right to be angry and concerned for their student. And the student is fortunate to have them. The child is living with two stable adults who are meeting all the student’s basic needs, has connected the student to physical and psychological specialists. The student has a very strong safety net. Which if I were to be honest is why I inadvertently let them slip through the cracks.

For other children, I don’t know where they are living at the moment. Or they have needed glasses for over a year. Or they miss school because they witness domestic violence before even finishing their breakfast. Or they need to tell someone how scared they are that their dad was arrested the night before. I put in a lot of effort as a teacher to get a child at least one of the additional supports this student has. This guardian will be made to hear, as they should, that her student is by far better off than the majority of my students and needs less of my attention.

I know this child has a strong safety net. Whereas with most of these others, if they fall through those cracks there is little hope of them making it out ever again. I have seen it several times and it hurts. And so with limited time, resources, and personal ability I have triage services and attention between students every day. And this student was not seen as a priority relative to the needs of others.

It’s not fair. I am not claiming otherwise. This guardian has every right to be angry and advocate for their student. This student has experienced more before the age of 10 than some have experienced their entire lives. That is not fair for this student. Life is also not fair for many other children in many other similar circumstances. And it’s not fair that the system only recognizes them as numbers. Numbers on a caseload, number of minutes being served, number of staff required.

The parents, including this upset guardian, demand and beg that I see and meet the needs of their individual child while the system requires that I manage the numbers. It is my job to do both and I can’t. The two do not align together and I can’t possibly achieve both. I will be called a bad teacher for it, but I have given up trying to do both. I do what I can meet the most needs of as many of the children as I can and then I go home and tell myself that is good enough. It has to be.

It’s not that I don’t care about this student and that’s how this happened. I care and I’m limited in what I can do. This guardian can be angry with me as much as they want, but I’m not necessarily the problem here. I’m regularly left to judge who gets help and what kind of help that looks like. Do I focus on the children who don’t have a strong advocate and who aren’t getting necessary resources, or do I pay attention to those students whose parents are going to speak up? I shouldn’t have to choose, and it shouldn’t be up to one person. But it’s not productive to talk about ‘should/shouldn’t’. This is the reality for myself and so many others. I’d rather we talk about the reality of education and how to move forward.

If the guardian I’ve mentioned every reads this I hope they know I am sorry. I’m doing my best for your student and every other student I’m responsible for. Judge that for what it is, but it’s all I have to offer.

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#24702

In my school, the afternoon music teacher has been moved to the science lab for teaching. Meanwhile the science teacher wants to get into the lab and they won’t let her. Art is taught in what used to be the music room, carts for the other art teachers are in what was the art room. It’s alt-ed, and I love that the program is growing. But I hate how the facilities aren’t. It’s impossible to do anything fun or constructive or even close to working with state arts standards.

Needless to say I am applying EVERYWHERE ELSE.

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#24673

I’m a recently qualified high school teacher who has taught the same AP English class for the last two years. Today they got their results back from a national assessment: my kids got the third highest marks in their year group. To say I couldn’t be prouder is an understatement!

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