Baaad Teacher, Baaad Students

“Yes Johnny? I’m sorry but no. ALGEBRA is not a country in Asia.”

Three years of teaching high school students does enable you to the ff: be constantly reminded how horribly insecure you are when you were a teen; learn new teen stuff (vampires glisten under the sun, what the???); and sing teen songs (okay, I admit I sang “Love You like a Love Song” while in the shower… “and I keep playing re-pea- pea- pea pea- peat.”).

Three years of teaching high school has made me the silent but revolted witness to my students’ outlandish and rebellious lifestyle. Not that my generation was Victorian. We also had our shares of misdemeanors and misadventures. We defied curfew, asked allowances for nonexistent “projects”, connived with friends to make paalam to our parents just so we could get out of the house, and cried when we are not allowed to join the free concert at the town square. Although now is a bit different. Kids would go to certain extents that border audacity and lunacy. While it is good that they are more expressive and prouder of their identities, how they do it is a different story. We are not thirty years apart but clearly, there are perceptible discrepancies between our timelines.

My students call me a liar pointblank (and even if I am, how dare they still). They relish every moment of embarrassment inside the room in my face (the youthful smiles, the cute laughs, and the angelic chuckles only transpire when you become the subject of their ridicule.) They deliberately test your patience and are very good in playing possum, victim, or b!%ch depending on the situation. Someone even told me that I look like “I’ve already done IT a hundred times.” Countless moments I was tempted to slit their throats with a rusted cutter (they die of tetanus if they are lucky to survive the assault). I even spend the whole afternoons imagining elaborate plots on how to creatively assassinate each one of them (example, [Name of student] crosses the street and is narrowly hit by a truck. She dodges it in the nick of time only to be mauled by twenty hungry, flea-infested, big black mongrels which jump out of the truck.) I should have not become a teacher in the first place. Body counts will rise if they keep on having me employed.

These kids are arrogant. They are self-centered. They are drama queens. They are cynicism-breathing dragons and they will eat you alive if you do not know how to defend yourself.

But then I guess that is just what they are.

And amidst their ingenious and uncanny ways to get attention, recognition, and admiration (SHOCK has been their main arsenal to achieve the aforementioned), I guess good things still come out from them. With the advent of globalization, post-modernism, and heightened narcissism (this is to be tackled in a separate column), these young people had developed a mindset of shunning themselves from living in a world that is either black or white. My students constantly remind me not to put labels and limits; not lose track of my most basic self while incorporating as many things in my system; and appreciate every shred of my humanity (they call it “par-teeh” though. Geez.) despite its numerous flaws. There are these few moments too where they could be as sweet as cherubs (I always doubt though they are hatching some plan- devious, malevolent, and malicious whenever it happens). Three years has passed.

Things now are not as horrible as before. I guess our constant skirmishes with the occasional truces and our never-ending love-hate relationship will never come to a denouement— but we have learned to deal with it. I was never the favorite teacher (although I do admit I have a few favored ones inside the class.) but I guess I’m not their biggest nightmare either. I would like to believe that somehow I have earned their respect, and in turn, expect mine. I teach high school students and I’ve never fully understood them… and maybe that will be the case until perpetuity. I know I can never be Teacher of the Year (employment mismatch, really), the “oh-my-gawd-he-changed-my-life-forever” instructor, or  “sir’s-like-the best-I swear”.. But I will understand them. I will be patient with them (don’t push it, I won’t say I will love them, yeck!) And I will do what I must that is why I reluctantly joined the academe in the first place: Reduce the amount of stupidity in this world.

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11 Comments

July 13, 2012 · 4:17 am

11 responses to “Baaad Teacher, Baaad Students

  1. What do you guys think? 😀

    • I agree that I can be SOME of those things you mentioned in your post, sir. Arrogant, yes. Self-centered, most of the time. Drama queen? I could be if under a LOT of pressure or if that “time of the month” starts to kick in again.

      But, in this post, it seems like you were generalizing that ALL of the students you have taught are arrogant, manipulating, boisterous, and attention-seeking; which I think is not entirely true.

      There are some of your students who happen to be the complete opposite of the students you described. They’d rather keep quiet during discussions, they’d rather stay unnoticed and keep to themselves. Okay, maybe some of us chuckle or smile when a teacher is being teased in some way, but we’re not the ones who outright embarrass a teacher by saying it right in his/her face.

      Maybe it’s just those students who are expressive enough, maybe even a bit too LOUD when it comes to expressing their thoughts, who get noticed in class most of the time, and it was their behavior in class where you based your observations from. Saying that you are plotting their murder in your mind was kind of scary, though. What if it really happened? D:

      As for being outlandish and rebellious, well… we are rebellious, but some of us try to limit our rebelliousness by doing the things you used to do when you were a teen, and I don’t think I’ve done anything that “go to certain extents that border audacity and lunacy”.

      That’s what I think, sir. I don’t mean to offend you or anything, but I’m just pointing out what I think are the flaws in this post. It’s just my opinion, but then again, you’re the teacher. You see things in us that we may have never seen or realized in the past 3 years that you’ve been with us. 🙂

      • Yes,I speak of the general. To name a student would just make it really nasty (and would kill the fun). Be assured I do not intend to demean the students who do their best to be the nicest and the best in everything they do. There are many of them who are just dang good and it would be a shame if I do not express how I appreciate their pleasantries(seriously). It’s just that… THIS IS NOT FOR THEM. There’s no point writing this in the first place if I would just enumerate all the altruism, humility, responsibility, etc of the students.

        You might have felt offended. That’s really understandable. And I commend you for your honesty. But remember that what was posted does not cover all the aspects. I just felt wicked the time I wrote this (and I’m not apologizing for it). Like I said in the post, that is your trait but it doesn’t necessarily translate you as evil people (because I’m the one who is). 😀

        Again, this is general but is not true to all. Nothing is.

        I just like it the nefarious way. Period.

  2. reduce the stupidity indeed. i laughed at that rusted cutter and black mongrel bit :p i kinda really agree with, too, sir, and not because i’m blatantly sucking up.rest assured

  3. anonymous2ndyrstudent ;)

    What a nice thread sir… Made me realize… I need to be more careful.. Hehehe… Nice Sir! Keep it up!

  4. Alright sir. I just felt that I needed to defend some of the students who aren’t really like that. And no, I wasn’t really offended. I just felt the need to clarify some stuff.

    The post was a bit hilarious, though. And it gave me some insight on how you see us students in general.

    Anyway, thank you sir! Keep up the nefarious posts! >:)

  5. joyce

    ahahahah.. may gas… you just gave a clear description of mahself— aha

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