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12:28 p.m. - Saturday, Oct. 06, 2001
Crossing the fine line

Crossing that fine line

How do you know when you've been harassed? Do you know when the line is crossed for verbal or sexual harassment? WHat do you do once its been crossed? What if no one helps you? What if you're used to dealing w/ things yourself and never realized that you don't HAVE to?

That's what I've been dealing w/ this week.

I had a student cross the fine line this week. Everytime I think about it, I am confused over it all.

I'm used to kids calling me a "bitch" under their breath. I am firm in my rules, occassionally letting things slide if they're behaving, but trying to keep behaviors under control b/c of the INTERESTING combination that guidance has put in my classes. So far, kids are finding their way as new sophomores or struggling seniors. I love my students. I'd die for them if it came down to it. I'm realizing this today. After the week I've had, I realize that I DO love teaching. I love my students. All of them. Regardless of what charges are pending, or what grades they have... etc.

I don't mean love in any sense other than caring for someone in an antisceptic way and feeling the need to protect them from harm, teach them how to survive the real world, and about respect.

I have nothing to prove. This is my second year. I don't want to make my mark now, they know what my boundaries are, even if they never had me before. Word of mouth travels quickly through a small school.

>(I also don't mind if a kid calls me a bitch. My reputation is this: I'm a hard teacher.

Good.

I'd rather be hard than teach them NOTHING. My biggest compliments have been from former students who've moved onto the next level of my subject.

"Thank you for being my teacher. I have learned SO MUCh from you."

The most recent compliment came from a former senior that came to the Homecoming game last night. She's a freshmen in college taking a psych course.

"Thank you for being my teacher. I'm taking Intro to Psych now and I never realized how much you taught us. Not just about the topic, but about life outside of h.s."

I told them that once they graduated, that it wouldn't be h.s. again. They told me that they were ready. I said they weren't. We talked about social skills, how to prepare for bad caf food, how to deal w/ a difficult roommate, etc.

I'm starting to reap the rewards that I never thought I'd reap. Former students (mind you I'm only a 2nd year) came up to me last night and HUGGED ME. Telling me they missed me made me laugh. I said, "You should've missed me more when you were skipping my class." We'd laugh. I think one boy hugged me at least 3 times, thanking me for helping him get his act together so he could graduate w/ his class. I tried to help 3 boys last year get ready and learn how to GET THEIR OWN GRADES UP...no, I didn't pass them. They passed me.

One of the three thanked me. He was my biggest struggle. My most difficult student. The one kid I had such GREAT hope for. He's living w/ two other guys, all working together.

I tried to find him a job, talked to him about getting his act together, showed him how to get his grades to go up by ...STUDYING... and how to.

I'm not a great teacher. I just care. I thought I didn't. I thought that I sucked at the job. Apparently, I don't...to some kids.

Some don't like me but don't bother w/ me either. I give space when I know you can be a raging bitch when nagged or talked to. But I don't back off my rules.

Someday the new ones will appreciate it.

(parts have been omitted because I felt like it)

 

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