Sunday, September 20, 2009

Second Week

I really mean to keep up here, as a way to vent and record. Oh well. Maybe next week will be better.

First, timing. I am, and therefore my class is, late for EVERYTHING. Sigh. There is so much to get through and so many issues and I swear I really do try. At least I don't need to worry about adhering to bell schedules. And since we're still waiting on some important materials, if math workshop runs a little long into reading workshop, whoops! Oh dear, that's so terrible! Not. We are behind in pretty much everything, and oh well.

I have a modicum of a sparkle of a hope about the workday timing. After more 12 hour days, I left by 6 on Thursday and Friday! It was so exciting to be outside in the sunshine, during daylight, going home! Yay me. I'm also feeling hopeful about planning and starting to sort-of get ahead.

Our classroom dynamic has been...interesting. Tuesday was my first Bad Day. I felt like any bit of control of my students flew right out the window. I was frazzled and impatient and a bit desperate. So I think it must have been Wednesday that I introduced some discipline and chart systems. And that day was much better.

However. I have a kid. You know. We've all had this kid, but this particular one takes the cake in my five years of experience. I'll call him Chatty Chad, as that is nowehre near his name. He is the one who will single-handedly ruin the entire class. He has some Actual Issues, but that doesn't help the anger and frustration and irritation of the other children. It's been hard for me to deal with him because I feel impotent. There's really only so much I can do in the classroom.

I'm continuing to be patient. I know, I'm surprised too! I do admit that near the end of our eight and a half hours together it wears thin, but overall, I am a much calmer teacher. I'm trying to keep the mindset that I'm doing what I can and I don't need to freak myself out about it. There has still been no crying or mood changes, which is a welcome discovery after the trainwreck of last year.

This will be the first real five-day week, so I'm trying to gear up and be ready. It's been a wonderful, quiet weekend. I got some good sleep, we worked on our apartment, I did laundry, I walked around Brooklyn in the sun with a camera and a book, I didn't do any schoolwork and I didn't think like a teacher. It was fantastic, I tell you!


Schoolgal said...

So glad you are enjoying your weekends. And do try to get home earlier--especially on a Friday. I know, I stayed late too. But you will soon catch up.

Don't let Chatty have his way. Talk to other teachers who had him and see what worked for them. And do call his parents ASAP. The earlier you can put a stop to this, the better it will be.

It's also okay to go over in a lesson. Pretty soon you will develop the timing. As long as you don't keep anyone else waiting like a cluster.

I hope you post on your new apt. I miss the old pics of your apt in Queens. They were so fun. Are you in the same neighborhood?

Teacher said...

I know you posted this a while back, and honestly the second week of school seems like ages ago... but I completely relate to you always being late. I noticed I had a major problem too! I'm still struggling (it sucks because I teach every single subject between the beginning of the day and lunch with nothing but me and my timer to keep me on track...) I have definitely noticed how late of a person I am (and of course, so is my class!) It takes time to get on a new schedule... Hopefully you are on yours better now :)