Since when is caring too much considered to be such a bad thing? Especially when you are a Special Education Teacher? You always see those mugs and knickknacks in the stores that say “great teachers teach from the heart, not a book,” “teachers have a heart of gold” …blah, blah, blah, blah…. One of the main reasons why I decided to become a teacher was because I have a huge heart, and I knew that my students would benefit from this greatly. I have been told many times that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I have a heart of gold. I have always thought that these were special qualities that have always made me stand out amongst the rest. Apparently, caring too much, putting yourself out there, and making yourself available for kids means that you are not doing your job and that you are a bad teacher. That was not directly stated yet inferred.
According to the “higher ups” in my district, you should be more “business like.” Now, I am not saying that I want to be friends with my students, or that I let them get away with things. I make myself available when my students need someone to talk to, a place to eat lunch, or a place to do their homework after school. If a student needs me to walk with them in the hall from the cafeteria to cool down because they need someone to talk them out of a fight,well, then I am there. If a student’s grandparent dies, I will be their shoulder to cry on. If a student becomes frustrated with their life and school, and they are on the verge of dropping out, I will be the one to encourage them to continue getting their education.
However, what the “higher-ups” fail to realize is that caring too much is what these kids truly need. You see, through my experiences working with special education students, I have learned so much about their lives and about life itself .They come from broken homes where school is an escape from their problems. It is a second home for them. If there would be more teachers like me, who “care too much” , well, then maybe kids would refrain from dropping out.
Those who went into teaching for all of the wrong reasons are the ones who barely do enough to get by. Then there are the caring teachers who unfortunately become jaded because of all the negativity they face. Many fail to realize that you cannot be a teacher if you do not care.
Those are the teachers that need to be told, “you are not doing your job, you need to care more about kids, you need to put yourself out there.” Well, it unfortunately does not work this way in education. From what I have witnessed, if you do enough to just get by,do not care and do not put yourself out there for kids, well, then, hey.. you are doing an excellent job. Because if you care too much, “counsel” kids and are there for them, well, then you are a horrible, horrible, teacher. Which is absolutely ridiculous and absurd in my eyes.
Education has turned into a businesslike atmosphere where the board of education has to worry about the budget, making parents happy, making adequate yearly progress and making sure that the school district looks good by keeping their drop out rates, standardized test scores and bullying numbers at the expected standard.
Those higher-ups and teachers who teach for their summers off are the ones at fault because they fail to realize that if the good teachers were valued and encouraged to care then students would be more likely to stay in school and the school environment would be much more positive .
They are at fault because they need teachers that care too much. They need teachers who put themselves out there for the kids and who want to see them succeed. Let those board of ed. administrators step into my classroom and teach kids who come from broken homes, who never eat breakfast, do not have parents, and struggle with depression. Then they can come back and tell me whether or not teaching without caring and in a more business like fashion is the way to get through to those kids. Because if this is what they think their district needs in order to avoid causing rifts with parents etc., well, then they have another thing coming. These kids need more teachers who care. Whether they care a little or too much, it does not matter. They need someone who they know truly cares about them because, more than likely, they are not being cared about at home.
I am going to continue caring too much because when you care about your students, they are willing to work harder for you. They are willing to put all of their problems aside for the entire class period, all because they know that you have taken a true interest in their well-being. There needs to be more teachers,like me, who care too much.