“Why are Students Helpless?” Friday April 21, 2017

ch860125.gifI know they’re only 7 and 8 years old, but they’re basically babies. I had a student today come up to me because his pencil eraser broke off. He didn’t ask me anything. He just came up and interrupted me while I was working with another student and said, “Ms. Sinclair, my eraser broke off my pencil.”

“So?”

“It just came off while I was trying to erase. Now I don’t have an eraser.”

I nearly lost my shit. But this is just one example of how students need help with every little thing.

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“My zipper’s stuck!”

“My shoelaces are untied!”

“The sun’s in my eyes!”

“I can’t find my <insert any object>!”

“I have to go to the bathroom!”

“I’m hungry!”

“My hand hurts from writing!”

And do you notice anything? They’re all statements. No– scratch that. They’re complaints. They just complain about everything. It would be different if they were asking me nicely to help them unstick their zipper or tie their shoelaces, but they don’t do that. They just complain and let the adults around them swoop in and fix everything in their lives for them.

You remember that book, “Lord of the Flies”? Where a bunch of school-aged boys end up on a deserted island and attempt to remain civilized but resort to violence? Well, if that happened today all of the kids would shit their pants and die of dehydration because they would sit there complaining about having to go to the bathroom and being thirsty and if there isn’t an adult around to tell them to go to the bathroom or find water then they’re completely helpless.

I’m sick of it, too. Because this helpless attitude transfers to their schoolwork.

“Jamal, you need to write two sentences.”

“My hand hurts.”

“Do the best you can.”

“I don’t know what to write.”

“You need to tell me about your family.”

“I can’t spell that.”

“Do the best you can.”

“I have to go to the bathroom.”

I wish there weren’t any child labor laws. I wish these kids had to work in the fields or in factories. I hate children. Probably shouldn’t be a elementary school teacher. Or be pregnant with a child.

 

 

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