Today was genuinely an okay day. And that's an improvement!
Monday was pretty shitty. Too many kids are talking too much and being too disrespectful (guess all the signs about "work hard. be nice." aren't taken at all seriously), and I have too short a temper.
We didn't teach yesterday, and that always means a better day for me. (...I know.) In talking to a friend/colleague and my boss, I clarified some ideas for myself; in that I have them, not that I made any decisions.
Mainly I need to remember that I have choices: about how I react, how I think, how I speak; about working here; about teaching at all. I can take responsibility for what I do, and I can keep (trying to) urge my superiors to help reinforce the bad steps from the kids. So far that's not happening at all, even though it's been promised. I feel like they've given up on me, they don't speak to me, or try to help or anything. I stopped trying to ask because it's just been a waste of time. I'm doing what I'm supposed to do in terms of records and communications, but nothing is happening on their end.
I've been reminded about self-fulfilling prophecies, about my still-young age, about putting myself first.
I started a new incentive system today, with two rewards on the horizon (one a dated event and the other a farther-away privilege). It's my push to get myself and the good kids through the next two weeks.
Ultimately, and I haven't mentioned this here really, this job isn't healthy for me. At least not as it stands right now. For some reason I'm being really stubborn about facing this reality, because I don't want to let people down (the kids, my colleagues who'd have to cover me, my boss who wants me to stay, my boyfriend who worries if I could pay the rent). I know that these things don't matter in the long run and that my mental and physical health need to be a priority...but I'm having trouble accepting and acting on that. Plus I hate making big, important decisions.
So right now I'm giving myself a deadline--my birthday next weekend. Not that I expect things to turn around or drastically change, but since things (my management and their behavior) have been getting worse lately, I'm looking for incremental improvements.
Back to the beginning: today was okay. The behavior wasn't really better, but *I* was better, a little. I was able to stay calmer (...for the most part) and restrain the snaps. I experienced a few brief, shining, fleeting moments of silence and attention. I'm trying to hold on to those and build on them. The kids want better from me; I now have it in writing (they did a reflection this week). My planning has to get better. I'm not totally sure how to do that, or that I can do it effectively, because I'm still essentially creating my own activities for everything. I don't really think that is sustainable, especially since oh GOD there's so much material and we'll never get to it all!
Stay calm. Continue to reinforce the right things and reiterate the expectations. FOCUS.