As this point I’ve now reached the midway point in my student teaching experience, and it has yet to shake my confidence in what I am doing and why I am doing it. There are days when I see students in total disarray with their lives, appearing to stare forward without any contemplation of people passing at their side. Then there are times when they seem to have eyes on all sides of their head, meeting and greeting everyone in sight. Whether their baggage begins or ends at home, I know there are other factors at work, be they positive or negative. Some of them have good support systems in place at home, and I’m willing to bet that their parents are nurturing individuals. Others live in a vacuum where personal energies are likely sucked by anyone and everyone living under the same roof. I want to pull them aside and assure them that somebody cares, but it’s better that I save this line for the classroom where they need it the most.
When the first school bell rings in the morning, students are more often concerned with the status of their social mobility than whether or not an assignment has yet to be completed. As much as things have changed for youth over the past forty years, they haven’t. Their priorities are not those of a responsible adult and in many ways I’m okay with this. They’re still learning how to cope with high school and the age of innocence, and as much as we think they need to be ingrained with every lesson plan, I know full well that it’s not going to happen. It’s not about me making excuses for their lifestyle, only recognizing it for what it is. Meanwhile I strive to lead by example in everything I do, knowing they are constantly evaluating their student teacher.