I took over for one of the IPC/chemistry teachers pretty much at the half-way point of the fifth six weeks. It’s been quite an eye-opening experience for me on several levels, after two and a half years in Korea, I’d gotten used to Korean kids who for the most part have a pretty healthy fear/respect for authority. And for the most part of respect of others, particularly their elders. American kids…not so much.

It was also a shock for me to experience regular classes, the only regular class that I had in high school was math, but my regular math classes was filled with other honors kids who didn’t want to take honors math. So there really weren’t too many apathetic students in my one regular class.

Welcome to my current job…where it’s easier to count the interested students, who care what their grade is, who care if they missed anything when thy were absent, who take notes without prompting. At the progress report time for the fifth six-weeks, I had about a 40% failing rate and when I say failing, I’m not talking about an extra credit assignment from passing, but it’ll be a struggle to become passing.

Because of some Texas law, a public school teacher can’t have more than 10% of their students failing unless the teacher has contacted the parents. So since the end of the six weeks is almost around the corner, I looked over the grades and now I have a lower failing rate, a bit more than 28% !!! The afternoon was spent e-mailing parents who gave their e-mails to the school and looking up numbers of parents to call tomorrow.

I’m usually such an overacheiver, so this is a new situation for me to have such negative numbers right now. And since I’m the one prepping the students for the science section of TAKS, I’ll be the one with the “blame” for any lower than like scores, not the teacher the I’m subbing for, because she has the fallback that she left the proper worksheets and I didn’t do what I was supposed to or needed to. And if the students do wonderful, she gets the praise because she’s the teacher on record. Which both are hard for my pride to take.

So I have to learn patience and humility with the situation and do what I can and be okay with it.


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