Pastoral is a term that the administration here at HIS uses a lot. What are we doing to guide and help students become better people? This is especially true of students that cause trouble in one way or another. I have to admit that I've been in need of a mindset change there. I've talked a good game, but what have I really been doing to help kids get better? When they haven't done what I wanted them to do have I got pissed off and taken it personally? Yeah, sometimes I have. It's become more rare as I've aged and become a better teacher, but I have to admit it still can happen.
As the 9th grade level leader I've been getting a constant flow of emails with a group of boys that continue to have issues. I've become a middle man before things go to the MYP principal. He's a bit of a vice principal, but his job definition is a slightly different. Behavior issues don't end up in his desk until they pass through mine. However, I don't work with students. I work with teachers. We have to focus on the end game all the time. What's the outcome that we want? How do we get there? It can't be only compliance. It has to be a happy engaged kid.
A good part of me was wondering where the consequences for one particular kid was. He's been nothing but disengaged all year so far and unproductive. He seems to have turned a corner lately and we're getting positive reports. I wonder, if he had received punishments would that only have created animosity and compliance. I don't know that it would have helped the kid. Probably not, but would it have helped the learning environment for other kids and the teacher. Perhaps in the short term.
I have to comment on the apples and oranges thing here too. Teaching at Meridian High School for 29 years was not the same. The problems that kids have here don't compare. The $40K tuition here weeds out a lot of problems. We have zero homeless kids. We have zero hungry kids. However, we do have emotionally scarred kids that feel unwanted and abandoned. We have kids with parents in mid-divorce. We also have some very entitled kids that look down on the rest of the world. They are on the rare side, but they do exist.
I've had two long long days. It's 8:30pm and I just got home from work (Math curricular night for parents). I'm wasted tired and need to crash.