“Quitting is not the same as Quitting. ” My dad told me that my junior of college, right before I decided to separate myself from this organization at my school. “People quit things all the time Laquia, whether you like it or not you are replaceable.”
The more I thought about it the more I agreed with him. People do quit things all the time.People quit teams, they quit jobs, companies quit employees and lay them off, people quit relationships…people literally quit things everyday.
Somehow, teachers are supposed to be different. Teacher’s aren’t supposed to quit students. Above all, they are supposed to be the ones that remain strong and steadfast. They are supposed to be the people that believe in the students the most, that show them a better way, the people that reach them. But…I am not a teacher…
Tuesday was a long day, but it became even longer once it was time to teach my last class of the day, 8th B. In general, 8th grade is a difficult age. When I was in 8th grade, I was bored in every class except English and Health. English I loved and Health was the one class that seemed somewhat useful. However, this class isn’t interested in anything my partner and I have to say. NOT EVER. On this particular day, we were discussing life goals. We wanted the students to begin thinking about their futures and the things they wanted out of life, something that is not discussed within Moldovan schools.
I watched my partner begin the lecture in spite of the chaotic classroom. How was it chaotic you might ask:
- Students refused to respond to questions, even when she called upon them they said “I don’t know.”
- Students would get up and hit each other and sit back down, only to do the same thing 3 minutes later.
- Paper airplanes were being thrown across the classroom. To make matters worse, they thought it was HILARIOUS when we confiscated them.
- ENDLESS CHATTER. The students didn’t even attempt to be respectful. They talked after we asked them not too, they talked after being yelled at. Ignoring them was to no avail because it made it impossible to think!
Thus, the classroom was chaotic.
My partner is really good about pretending like everything is normal and that we aren’t being made fools of, but me…not so much. When it was my turn to teach, the students seemed to get noisier. Instead of pushing through like my partner, I became enraged. I walked over to the group of boys who refused to stop talking and asked them if one of them wanted to teach? Of course, they said ‘no’. Before I realized what I was doing, I shouted at them “WHO WANT’S TO BE THE TEACHER? COME IN FRONT OF THE CLASS!” I absorbed their stunned faces and shouted “THEN SHUT UP!”
For five seconds, the class went silent. But then snickers filled the room from behind me and that’s when I realized that I didn’t have to be there, after all, I’m volunteering. At that moment, I said quietly (in english) “Fuck This” and then I left the building.
Here I am spending two years of my life trying to educate them on topics they would otherwise know NOTHING about, and they don’t care. It doesn’t matter what activities we do, what the topic is, they simply don’t care. And then I realize, it’s not their fault. The system is a mess. Education is not a strong value. People aren’t taught to empower themselves, change what they don’t like, or pull themselves up by the boot straps. They aren’t taught to critically think, or apply what they learn to their own life. Health is an OPTIONAL course, and I am lead to believe that if it weren’t for PCV’s there wouldn’t be very many health programs within Moldovan schools.
After sitting and thinking, my partner calls me up and says we should ask the students if they WANT to continue with Health Education. I’m thinking…this is a joke right? Of course they don’t WANT Health Education. None of them do.
So we had a meeting. It was just us and 8th B. We gave them a choice…they didn’t make one. We told their diriginte (homeroom teacher) to talk to them about it, 3 days later they still hadn’t made a choice.
So today…we made a choice. I’m no longer teaching 8th B Health Education. Instead, I’m teaching 8th D. They are supposed to be more well-behaved class from “better families.” To be honest, it doesn’t matter.
I learned something this week. I am a volunteer. I’m only here for 2 years. I can make this experience what I want it to be, and I don’t have to stand up in front of a class and be disrespected.
So I quit 8th B, because they don’t care and neither do I.
The good thing is that now other students will get this opportunity, which I’m looking forward to.