I have a class of 26 kindergartners. In some places that may be the norm, but in Florida where a class size amendment was passed and is enforced I believe it is illegal. I have been told that regardless of my over large class and that of my two co-workers, not only will they not hire another teacher because the funds are not available but I am not given any kind of help.
I probably would not make a big deal of this situation in most other schools but because of the concentrated population of children with emotional problems, ADHD, and horrible parenting in the area in which I teach it can make a day of school seem never ending. Not all of my students are examples of these situations and it is for them that I show up each day, but the neighborhood in which I teach sadly not all parents care about their child's education. They care about ridiculous things like dance money getting lost (by their child not me, though they blame me regardless), about their child not receiving treats (you wouldn't give a treat to a child writing on your furniture and disrespecting you), or getting mad because I threw out their child's hair ribbon (after repeatedly getting told to put it away and then told it would get thrown out if not done so, she said no, and I threw it away). This is what I deal with on a daily basis. I understand budgets are tight everywhere but the lack of sympathy and assistance is just starting to get to me. I spend hours preparing for lessons, trying to make them fun, interesting and interactive. I spend my own money buying supplies for art, copies (which I am also being gipped on), and laminating and neglecting myself and my spare time coming up with all these activities.
I love teaching but it seems to not love me back very much. And I know it is silly to expect love back from a profession but teaching was not one of those. The kids made the jobs worthwhile. But each and every year the children are becoming more demanding and less agreeable and in this particular neighborhood where a lot of the parents are having children with issues just so they can collect money from the government and not because they want to raise them properly they can be downright horrible to teach. Its sad to see children jaded at 5 and not at all respectful of authority figures.
I love some of my students and I can usually tell which ones I will like depending on what their parents are like. The parents that are interested in their children tend to have the children most interested in doing well and it is for them I come to work each day. It is for them that I am happy to spend my money and time. Those children do not deserve to have their days ruined by the children who will grow up to be just like the parents who can not be bothered to raise them. Though I am old enough to be raising children of my own I am not so it upsets me that I have to be the one giving these children manners, showing them how to behave while eating, and how to deal with others.
This is not one of my better posts but between the horrible experiences I have had the past couple of weeks and how I felt yesterday it was something that needed to be expressed. I have had many people question why I have stayed at this school for as long as I have if it frustrates me so and I usually answer because of the children. For some of these children I am the only stability in their lives. Coming to school and seeing me and telling me about their day helps them feel loved and safe in a way they don't always feel at home. For them I have stayed. For my babies who I taught in kindergarten who are now in third grade learning to be young ladies and gentlemen. To see them grow and mature, it is a special priviledge that elementary school teachers are privy to more so than those in middle school and high school, but my sanity probably can't take any more of this population no matter how much I may be needed there.