So Done With That Kid

Lately I’ve heard a very troubling sentence, seven words long. I’ve heard teachers say it. I’ve heard educational assistants say it. And most shockingly of all, I’ve heard parents say it.  What is this phrase that shocks me? Irritates me? Even angers me? (and if you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty easy-going).

Ready? Here it is:

“I am so done with that kid.”In seven syllables this sentence says things like:

-this kid is frustrating me
-this kid is useless
-this kid cannot learn
-this kid is bad and cannot change
-this kid is beyond hope

But what this sentence is also saying is that

-I do not have the patience to deal with this child
-I do not know what to do with this child
-I do not have the skills to handle this child
-I should not be educating this child

I could add for parents, “I should not be raising this child” but that might take this post in a whole other direction and as an educator and school-based administrator that is not where I want to go with this.  I only want to vent my frustration at this phrase which most of the time is used in an off-the cuff manner.

I have taught for 16 years, the last 2 and a bit in administration and believe me, there have been moments when students have frustrated me. My patience has been stretched to a very fine thread. There are even a few students who I found difficult to like. But as an teacher and administrator, it is my JOB to be there for kids. It is my RESPONSIBILITY to do everything within my power, training and experience to ensure that my students learn. It is my DUTY as someone in a human services field to take care of my clientele (the kids!) and to never give up on them!

So to those who casually flip off this phrase in anger, annoyance, frustration or because you feel you just cannot take it anymore…be done with that kid. Go ahead. But then be done working with ALL kids because all kids deserve to learn and grow into adults guided by adults who really love kids.  Adults with the patience, understanding and the desire to work with kids because they care.  Adults who give kids second and third (insert any number here) chances to improve and learn from their mistakes who accept them for their differences; learning, behavioural, personality or otherwise.

Or…if you are in the field of education because you truly care about kids (who are, remember, future adults in our communities) and you want to make a difference, say, “what is the background story on this kid?”, “what can I do to help?”, “what haven’t I tried yet?”, “who can I ask for help?”.  Being done with a kid is not the answer.

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2 thoughts on “So Done With That Kid

  1. Excellent post. I especially like your remark about “flipping off the phrase”. As educators we encourage our students to think before they speak. It is also our responsibly to do the same. Think how much heart ache could be saved by that simple act. In our world of immediate gratification it has become far too easy to flip something off.

    • Thanks for reading and replying, Pat. I agree. This phrase is especially hurtful when it is said to the student or in their presence. How would we feel if someone said, “I am so done with you!”? How are kids supposed to keep on believing in themselves when there are adults who flippantly tell them that they don’t believe in them? It’s a terrible thing to say.

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