Professional distance is often cited as essential for teachers. Do not take it personally if they fail. Do not take their behavior as a reflection on you. Leave work at work.
First, this is almost impossible if you like your students. Of COURSE you’re going to care, and you’re going to care too much. You can lose sleep over your students that are failing, because you SHOULD loose sleep, comma. Them failing means you’re not a perfect teacher, and you can improve. You should be thinking about how to be a better teacher.
It’s called passion, and if you don’t have passion for teaching and improving, you shouldn’t be teaching, comma. Maybe it’s because I teach in a school with a high poverty population, but to me it’s total bull for any student to not get the best possible teachers.
And yes, their behavior, their inability to learn is a reflection on you – personally as a teacher. That student that always misbehaves in your class? That’s for a reason. It might not be you in particular, but if you’re not trying to figure out something to remove that behavioral impediment to their learning, then you’re not doing your job. Those students, those teenagers, they always have some reason for behaving the way they do. It’s probably based on some totally messed up premise, but that logic is there.
Why today? Well I had a rough time today with one student, and in conversation with another teacher, I heard some of my own words come out of their mouth – “that’s just what student does.” And it disgusted me. Student doesn’t do anything without a reason, and hearing it come from their mouth, made me realize just what makes me a better teacher now: I improved my understanding of the student. I have some idea why student decided to act that way, and I reacted to the cause.
So the moment I don’t lose sleep over failing students, I need to get out of the classroom. Someone better is waiting to do the job right.