Friday, March 1, 2013

The Breaking Point

On Wednesday my photojournalism teacher quit his job......Have you ever met someone that you just know that you can learn a lot from, if you're willing? This teacher was involved in so many things; newspaper, yearbook, journalism, photojournalism, morning announcements, and he was the sponsor for our new film club. And now he's gone and everything's a mess (I know he's not dead, but it feels like it because I'll probably never see him again).
They told us that he left because of family issues. But I think that he just couldn't handle teaching my class anymore. He had the class designed so it was more about what we wanted to do. We could do any project we wanted as long as it had some sort of significance. He wanted us to take interest and love photography.
But the kids that were in my class.....just....didn't care. They never turned their assignments in, they would talk constantly in class, and worst of all they would be downright disrespectful. Everyday our teacher would try to teach us about photography and art, and there would always be this murmuring sound, like rodents scurrying, in the back of the room. During the teacher's lectures they would only become interested in something that had nothing to do with the lesson. One of his lessons was about constructivism, and the only thing they got out of the lesson was that the teacher doesn't like going to Chick fil A.
The teacher would constantly tell us that we need to turn in the work. He would try to make jokes and be sarcastic about how apathetic the students are. He was one of the few teachers that was not afraid to tell us that our generation is doomed to failure unless we change.

One of the girls told me the day he left that during class, instead of writing the photo analysis that had been assigned, she wrote an analysis about his teaching. The way she described it made it seem like it was his fault for her inability to learn. Because he is always talking about how disappointed he is in us.

Yesterday was our first class without him. I was called out of the room to help fix some glitches in the morning announcements room, and this is what I came back to. The students in my class were basically interrogating the substitute; asking him what his girlfriend's ethnicity was and whether or not he believed that marijuana should be legalized. 
There is this one girl in the class, a tall skinny blonde girl, who is the loudest of them all. Another classmate was trying to say something and she started yelling at everyone to be quiet. I couldn't help but say something; "Oh, because you are always polite and quiet when someone is trying to talk.".... The room went cold.... Her response was "I know that you're sad that the teacher left, but get over it. He's gone." The class then went on to say how they were glad the teacher quit. They all hated him because he was "mean" to them and was always "insulting" them (apparently telling them the hard truth is insulting).
The class then realized that I had been out of the room a few minutes ago. Apparently they had all decided that they were all friends now and they played an introduction game. They all went quiet and told me to start talking. But I refused to play their game and I was called "salty" because of it (apparently this was meant to be a burn of some kind).
At that point I realized that the teacher was the only reason I had remained in that class for so long. I went down to the office and asked if it was too late in the year to switch out. I was told that it would be put as a failing grade, an incomplete on my report card, and would go onto my transcript that I dropped the class. My guidance counselor said that she would ask my administrator if it would be possible, considering my situation and all.

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