Every Teacher's Burden
I had a moment today where one of my students got "it". And by "it" I means the particular type of "it" I throw in class concerning how our actions affect those around us.
And it was a beautiful thing. The heavens opened and the cutest cherubs were flying around singing "Hallelujiah!". There was joy. In Mudville, amongst other places.
A while later there was another moment where a different student didn't get "it" at all. He was too wrapped up in his world to see that what he does affects everyone around him. And I realized that, for that moment, the lesson plan with him had to be thrown out the window. I focused on his understanding the subject for as long as I could without losing the rest of the class, who were ready to go to the next step. And then it was time for class to dismiss.
This is what a crack in "the system" looks like. You put a bunch of kids in a class, give them as much individual attention as you can---and try to cover the things that will actually help them in life. But there is always a student who needs more---more than you can give---more than the parents are often willing to give. And they fall through the "crack" because so many others must go before them.
I celebrate my "hallelujiah child" but I'm fighting for the others too.
In a dream world, there are ten students per teacher. Each student has tutorial time with a specialist, and time to pursue independent projects. Kids will be allowed to play at recess, on swings, on playgrounds, instead of forced into mandatory games or exercise regimes. They can explore those grounds, and create their own games. They get extra attention in math and art. And they are encouraged to explore their interests, while still becoming aware of the complexities of the world.
I want the best for my students. Until the day when that is acheived... it is
agony and ecstasy. Draw your breath in pain, and celebrate the life it gives you.