I don't know what it is. I cannot picture myself in any other profession outside of teaching, but as most people can attest, I find myself on a regular basis, extremely frustrated with my clientele (excuse the lack of correct accents). By this, I do not mean the parents of my students, but rather the students themselves. These people are my customers. They come to me in the hopes of learning something worthwhile and I slave 70+ hours a week in the hopes that their dreams are not in vain.
Having been through the mid-year point of my 4th year of teaching 9th through 12th graders, I've come to a few conclusions. If anyone else on the planet reads this blog, then feel free to post any thoughts you might have relating to how right or how completely off-base I might be. My one disclaimer is the following, my experiences come from a very small sub-section of students. Please understand that these thoughts and ruminations come as a result of my interaction with independent school students in Baltimore County, MD.
1. Parents of current high schoolers are engaging in an activity for which my parents, during my high school years, would have awarded someone a scarlet R (read; retard). Parents these days, in my estimation, far too often yearn to be friends with their 14-18 year old children. In addition to being chums with their children, they also express a distinct desire to be liked by their childrens' friends as well.
Those of you who might not be experienced teachers might be thinking, "Well, that seems like a perfectly reasonable expectation from a human being." You are incorrect and should most likely stop thinking and just believe my opinion as fact. These parents fall into a trap out of which many of their own children are knawing off their own foot to escape. Friends seek to support one another. High schoolers, in their extremely finite wisdom, tend to support one another blindly and wholeheartedly without consideration of the actions of their compatriots, no matter how asinine.
I remember when I was growing up and going through high school. My mother was very explicit when she found one of my friends or acquaintances not to her liking. She simply said, "I don't like (insert child's name here)." It wasn't necessarily out of blind hatred or bad first impressions, but the woman tends to stick to her guns. If I repeatedly kept hanging out with said reprobate, I would be victim to certain consequences. That is, however, neither here nor there with regard to my current point. My mother was not my friend in high school. Yes she loved me and continues to do so, but she expressed a severe disapproval at several of my poorest decisions (topic for a different post). Not all of my friends liked her, but none of them remained ignorant of her potential for infernal wrath. My mother is a lovely person, but refuses to be rolled over by smarmy, pretend-to-be-charming-but-really-hopes-that-parents-will-buy-him/her-alcohol types. She usually just sent them home with a kindly "Don't come back." as they let the door hit their ass on the way out.
I'm going to end this post now because I feel like I'm getting worked up. Next post will start with some akin to, "Category 2 of parents that the Baltimoron finds difficult are those who week to smooth the rough road of adolescence as much as possible for their children."