Friday, January 18, 2013

End of the Semester

So I'm feeling a little discouraged today.

As a teacher, I have expectations of myself that are pretty high, especially for a second year teacher.  I truly want ALL of my students to succeed, so any time they don't, I feel like I failed them in some way.

As grades start to come out, there are always those who didn't get the grades I know they are capable of.  I have one student in French 1 who literally refuses to turn in homework.  She has an F.  Every time I have tried talking to her, she has no explanation and won't really answer my questions.  I've tried talking to her guidance counselor and contacting home, but I'm always met with a dead end and she never turns anything in.  Even though she's like this with every other class (we can see grades online), I still feel like there should have been something more I could do.

In my other French 1 class, I have two boys who are both really good friends of one another.  Both of them are very smart.  But they also both get really distracted and are disorganized.  Early on, I made it my goal for them to do well in my class.  I put them both in prime seating to pay attention, I offer them help often, I remind them of missing work.  I just found out that they are dropping my class at semester because their grades aren't good.

It's really silly for me to have this Utopic idea of what my classroom to be.  I teach 12-15 year old kids.  There's no way I will ever engage them all and there's no way they will all love my class and all get A's. 

I want to be a good teacher.  I want the kids to learn and I want them to love the language.  I just wish I didn't take it so personally when they don't.


  1. I think it's hard to disconnect ourselves from student failure, especially when they are so young, but eventually you have to tell yourself that you did everything you possibly could, tried every route to help that student succeed, and they chose not to. A student choosing not to do their work is different from a student not understanding the work because you don't present it in enough ways, or give them enough opportunity to practice it.

    You'll toughen up eventually :)

  2. I'm curious about what state you teach in. You mentioned PDPs in your first post. Are you in Wisconsin? If so, I would love to connect with you. I might have some tips that could benefit you and your students. I know this comment is coming way later than you posted it, but we are all in it together!

  3. Yes! I am in Wisconsin, and would love any tips you have. Merci! My e-mail address is