Thursday, December 06, 2007

Helpless. Hopeless? I don't know.

So. A student in one of my English I classes has missed a LOT of school, and is not likely to be able to make up the work. It happened to come up as I was talking to a guidance counselor and they sympathized, saying that apparently her dad has cancer and she's in the caregiver role. This is wrong in so many ways, but there doesn't seem to be a way to fix it. I mean, WTF?

Of course, this isn't the only student who is likely to fail because of not having gotten enough instruction. Absences are... well, I guess not quite an epidemic, or at least, not as bad as they were at the inner-city school at which I first interned.

And it's usually the most affluent students who can stay after, because they have parents who can arrange for transportation. I almost wish I was back at the city school because there at least you've got SOME kind of transit. And it's almost always free for schoolkids... then again, they can't stay because God knows it's not safe to be getting home after dark.

And one little pisher stole a couple of the books that I'd borrowed from the city library to bolster our school's meager poetry selection. I can't just demand that they look up poems online, because not all the students have computers at home, let alone internet access. Nor can we use the grade-level literature anthology, because most of the students cannot read at grade level. I want them to find poems they can understand, so that there's a chance THEY can figure out what things mean, but there's no way that I can see for me to do this.

And don't get me started on getting requests for yearbooks a week and a half after the deadline - the NEW deadline, after it was pushed back a week and a half already.

There ARE good points... students who're learning... I'm just not sure any of it outweighs the bad, right now.


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