Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Roller Coaster

People talk about peaks and valleys, good days and bad days. But how is it possible to be in so many valleys with nary a peak in sight?

Things were going okay for a little while. And by that, I was getting through the day, though none of them have been good. I was trying to be positive and strong and strict, to reinforce the rules that the school and I have clearly set from the first day of school. Sometimes the students cooperated and I gave plenty of praise and compliments.

The last few school days have been a big fat Rift Valley. Yesterday was a plain old bad day, all told. I was bad and mean, the kids were rude, loud and obnoxious. It was awful.

And! I was surprise-taped and then had a meeting about it. I've been videotaped a couple times this year, and watching them hasn't been as torturous as I'd thought. But god, seeing my class outside of my head did not help me feel any better. I cried--not at the video, but at the feedback, because I'm so very frustrated at the entire situation.

Today was not a bad day. I wouldn't call it a good day, but there were decent bright spots during the day. The Debaters were noisy as ever, but the Moles had one good class. One disruptive kid --Distractions McGee--worked quietly and made me a really cute sign. (I was all warm fuzzy and wanted to laminate it. I gave it back to him later so he could color it for me. And then he lost it and didn't even care.) A second disruptive kid talked and called another kid names all period. I had to cover the Hedgehogs, and they were great. For my class, not so much.

Yesterday I stayed at school until eight. Today I graded nonstop (truly; not even a break to check email or stretch) for two hours, but put down my pen at five on the dot. I haven't slept through the night the last two nights and woke up with a migraine this morning.

Is the ride over yet?


Anonymous said...

A week until Thanksgiving and just over a month until Christmas - hang on, Jules...you can do it :)

abz said...

You need a massage :)

Schoolgal said...

If they have tapes, then maybe they have tapes of another teacher with that same class for you to study. It would be interesting to see how a different teacher handles the same group of kids.

There was a teacher in my school who made her class stand like statues when she took them to the bathroom. Not a word was spoken. Of course the admins loved her. Turns out her secret was candy.

Anonymous said...

Because I am still in college it is interesting to see things from a teacher and student's point of view at the same time. I was probably one of the kids in your class that could be good but could also be really really bad when unfocused. I still feel that way in class sometimes. It makes me feel bad for all the teachers that I have probably tortured throughout my time in school!! You deserve a great Thanksgiving break!

Miss G said...

I can't even tell you how many times I've stayed until 8 (when I got there at 6:30 that morning), which is why I question whether or not this is sustainable.
But while I'm exhausted, I think we are having completely different experiences....maybe you should ask to observe at a different school in our network for a day - teachers from our school do it all the time.