A glimpse of public school high school life

As many of you know I teach for our local public high school. I know as christians we all have different views of public school, but I thought I would share some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of my year so far.

Let’s start with the bad……

A teacher at my school had an affair with a student this year. I posted about it awhile back, it was so sad. The man was married and had a toddler. He had earned an excellent reputation as a music teacher and band director. Now, it’s all just a faded memory, as he sits in jail awaiting a trial.

There is a table of freshman students that I see sitting in a booth at lunch every day, they throw things at other kids, they yell rude things, and basically think they own the place. They have served detention, talked to the assistant principal, and their behavior hasn’t really changed. Now, thanks to my hubby the cafeteria monitor, they are all separated sitting at individual desks at 4 separate corners of the cafeteria.

The ugly………

I live in a quaint, conservative small town. Our school recently made news headlines for a racial incident that occurred. Apparently tensions had been rising for awhile, they all came to a head when 3 boys yelled racial slurs at some African-American students and threw trash at them. It was a sad event, perpetrated by just a few rogue boys. It saddened us all to see these events unfold before our eyes, and unfortunately attitudes of hate and discrimination still exist!

Now for the GOOD……….

Theย  very talented quarterback for the school football team, takes time every day to come and sit with my special needs students during lunch. He started this on his own initiative, and my students, especially the boys LOVE him. It’s a time of trash talking, being goofy, giving him five……good ole typical boy fun.

Our senior class president lost his mom this year to a brain aneurysm. He played for the school basketball team. The entire school rallied around him, and students and teachers purchased over 700 shirts bearing his name, and an inspirational message. Everyone wore the shirts to school on the same day and then to the basketball game that night. The boy wrote a thank you note in the local paper, and thanked everyone for their support…….including Jesus his savior who has seen him through this difficult time!! I might add that this young man volunteers in my class everyday, and plans to be a teacher when he graduates. My students adore him.

A young girl, a sophomore from our church comes down to the special ed classroom next to mine and plays her guitar during her lunch time every Friday. She sings many christian songs for the autistic support class next to my classroom. Just yesterday I heard her singing away………” Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty ,Who was, and is, and is to come ,With all creation I sing ,Praise to the King of Kings ,You are my everything , And I will adore You”

I overheard a student the other day inviting a student who is in a lot of trouble lately, to his church youth group.

This is just a small glimpse of what goes on. High schools these days can be a tough place to grow up in, but I am thankful for christian kids who pledge to make a difference amidst the bad and the ugly.


  1. Thank you!

    Ahhhhhhhhhh…the memories. I’m actually missing my teaching days right now. This very moment…now back to cleaning my kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Again – thanks – I really loved this post.

  2. I like the way you saved the good part for last. Bravo to you for being a light amongst the bad and ugly and a leader in the good!!! Blessings!!!

  3. I appreciate this post. Thank you for being there in the midst of the bad, and thanks for sharing the good.

    My kids are in public school (finishing up 7th & 9th grades) and I feel very strongly that’s where they are supposed to be. Yet it is so hard to see the darkness out there. I’m so thankful for the Christian teachers we’ve had along the way. And as a Christian principal told me once, if all the Christian students and teachers left, what hope and positive influence would there be for these kids?

  4. THIS IS MOST EXCELLENT!!! thank you so much for this.
    My 2 daughters are in public school as well as my husband and I feel this is where God has called them. (9th grade, 3rd grade). I am a huge public school advocate as you know! Thank you for saving the good for last on your post…..these stories rarely make the news media…around here it depends on the school. The suburban schools, where we live, tend to make the news for the good stuff or the sad stuff (a local boy was killed in a drunk driving accident by a woman who was very drunk) but it seems that most of the bad is printed for urban schools….bad and good are everywhere. Thanks for doing your job….(you are making me want to return full time!!)

  5. Thank you for this post. Whether you are in a private school or a public school, there will always be the bad, the ugly and the good.

    Thank you for sharing the good – it brought tears to my eyes, knowing that those kids are making a difference and letting their light shine. I always appreciated those kids that were there to make a positive difference – thank you for highlighting them!

  6. I am there with you. I work full time in the office at our local public high school. I am an office assistant. My husband who pastors at our church (children & youth) volunteers there as a football coach. And one of my wonderful friends from church was just hired as a cafeteria/supervision monitor. Most of our youth group attend this high school. We feel called to be there and have gained a lot of favor. My husband will be officiating at a wedding of two of the teachers that are engaged. They don’t attend church anywhere and the male teacher is a football coach. He wanted someone he knew to marry them.

    Bless you as you bring Light to your school!

  7. I have a great heart for special needs folks. We have a ministry at our church for Adults with disabilities. It is called ADAM – for Adult Disability Activities Ministry. I worked in the public school system as an assistant in a special needs class, for 7+ years. I just want to thank you for what you do for the children/students in your care.

  8. I am so glad that you posted this! The media is so quick to share the bad stuff that happens in our schools, but never the good. It’s so refreshing to hear the good — and gives me hope for my children and the world they will live in when they are teenagers. Thank so much for sharing this!

  9. Thanks so much for this. Our kids are in a non-denominational Christian school right now (1st and 7th grade), largely because we wanted them to have as much Bible education as math, science, English, etc. But as my son enters high school, we are considering public school for him. We want to expose him to a more balanced environment so he can face hard choices while he still lives at home.

    besides, we just bought a boat and the tuition money could really . . . just kidding. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We have another year to decide. He’s torn. He LOVES his school, and all his friends are there, but he also thinks the nearby public school sports programs are better. The academics will obviously be another driving factor.

  10. Thank you for sharing that – all of it! I love that you can see the good in spite of the bad. And I love the encouragement that these things do happen in public schools – I mostly only hear the “scare tactics” of how horrific it can be. I actually got misty at the story of the class pres/b-ball player – Beautiful stuff.

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