I was stressed, I was pained, I was irritable and I was trying to keep everyone happy, whilst also trying to remain sane – a tall order as the end of the school approaches too fast. We were moving ‘home’ to South Australia in less than six weeks and stress was beginning to seep into every facet of everyday life.
This particular day that I decided to give up teaching was a Wednesday, a day when I don’t work directly with students but still seem to be flooded with work and problems to solve. This particular Wednesday however was going to be a little different; I was visiting high school with three transition students on their first ‘real’ visit to high school, I was excited for them and I felt privileged that I could be part of this transition with them as I had watched them grow and transform since they were ‘babies’ in year one. These transition days were an opportunity for the students to familiarise themselves with the high school and all the new routines. They were a great opportunity for a chosen few, particularly those students who were anxious around beginning a new school, it provided them with an insight into how high school runs and allowed them the opportunity to, if not alleviate their anxiety, at least, lessen this anxiety. Whilst these transition visits were a wonderful opportunity for the students, they were a logistical nightmare for the teachers, both the primary school teachers and the high school teachers.
Let’s get to the point – I had made phone calls, sent notes home, sent emails, followed up and confirmed that my particular three students were all good to go. One of my students was sick and couldn’t make this first visit – oh well, he will come next time. I get word however that another is simply not coming because he told mummy that he didn’t want to and mummy said that was okay. Put simply, this child called the shots and despite all the evidence that suggested that early transition for this child was the best thing for him, it was not going to happen and the child had made that decision.
I was so sick of parents trying to be friends with their children and not wanting to upset them or rock the boat by taking them out of their comfort zones to support them in becoming functioning adults. What happens next year when this child has to actually start high school? My guess is he will do whatever he wants.
Teachers do what they do in the best interests of their students and I am done with hovering parents, parents who can’t cut the apron strings, parents who won’t let their children be children and form positive relationships with their peers because their parents are too busy wiping their noses, tying their shoelaces, carrying their school bags and simply hovering around their school child. Parents, step away from the child and allow the teacher to do their job.
I have taught for over twenty years and I am no longer interested in students calling the shots – I went to University to gain my teaching knowledge, but alongside that I have worked hard to get to know my students, I have always held their best interests at heart, I have cried rivers for them and about them, I have lost too many nights sleep over them and I care too much to the point of frustration and therefore I am done!