The Oreo Project/Oreo Sculptures
I really try not to focus on the negatives but there are a few that I have to get off my chest.....
Attendance here is the absolute worst I have ever experienced in my 11 years of teaching. Sadly, my class is not different from other classes in my school or the district in general. Things are very lax in this regard. I have fifteen students, and I had fourteen absences this week. Roughly 20% of my class missed the entire week when you look at it broadly like that.
The hardest thing was Friday night at youth. One of my students who didn't come to school (and missed 23 days last year, and is well on her way to doing that this year)....came to youth. She comes up and tells me that she is sorry she wasn't at school, but her grandfather wanted her to ride with him to a nearby city (45 minutes away) to get his license plates. REALLY? I don't want to turn these kids away from Jesus, but it is really a slap in the face to me that you can't come to school, but you can come to something "fun" that night that I help lead.
I have another student who has moved cows six days this school year. No homework has been turned in the entire year, and this student is really low.
The doctor for the town is a five minute walk from our school...and the kids will miss all day for a doctor appointment. On the 1st and 15th when government checks are issued, students often go to Rapid or Bismarck to shop.
Many times they stay home for days with no doctors notes at all.
It really seems to be accepted and a "fact of life" here on the reservation and it is sad.
There are some really good teachers where I work, but most of my kids are not used to being pushed like I am pushing them. I think I really stepped up my expectations at my last school because that was our entire school culture. We just expected more, and worked hard to provide them ways to get to the goals we set. One of my really good kids the other day, you know the kind who always do what they are supposed to, asked me if we would ever get "free time."
I've probably said too much, so I'm going to stop now.