Thursday, October 01, 2009

oh, dear.

This afternoon might have broken me just a bit. I was trembly for like three hours after dismissal, and I wonder if I didn't have a teeny little panic attack--weird fluttery feeling, couldn't catch my breath, weak, and of course, some tears. Now, maybe I was just tired and/or hungry; once again I hadn't eaten a real dinner in like three days. But whatever it was, it was my first breakdown of the year. And it's a Thursday, and it's only the first day of October.

They say God/The Universe/The Great Sparkle in the Sky doesn't give you more than you can handle. But why does my administration keep packing my class list with difficult boys? I already can't handle the ones I've got. The entire staff already knows Chatty Chad and Loud Leo. I've become That Teacher a month into the school year!

Thinking on my days, the actual instructional pieces are pretty decent. It's the breaks and transitions and OH GOD the dismissals that have me ready to jump out one of my windows.

So far next week might even be worse! Great.

I'm off to bury my head in the sand for awhile.


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I like to bury my head in the sand too. It's not a bad place to be sometimes.

Seriously, I hope things get better for you. I have Loud Leo and Chatty Chad in my class too, so I know how frustrating it can be...

Schoolgal said...

Are you comparing yourself to last year when you say "That Teacher"?
If so, you need to find out what is wrong. And staying late to do paperwork does not make one a good teacher. Sorry, but I think you may be putting your energy towards the wrong things the way you did last year by staying late. We all had difficult classes. But we use our survival skills. Send these kids to the administration. Don't handle it on your own. Find out what other teachers did. If this is a charter school, where the hell is the discipline code???

Dan said...

I am the husband of a talented and passionate young teaching fellow who was riffed today after more than two years of dedicated service to her students.

Her urgent dedication to helping raise the achievement of high need and disadvantaged students has been a theme of her career. In rural Nepal, aged just 18, she creatively led a class of primary students through an uninspiring national curriculum (often protecting them from the headmaster's cane). In east London, she worked patiently to improve the employment prospects and English language skills of impoverished Bangladeshi immigrants. In Sudan, she developed a practical curriculum to improve the spoken language skills and cultural awareness of thousands of primary school children and hundreds of university students. On arriving in the district, she worked to train teachers for placements overseas before being accepted into the DC Fellows program, where, for the last couple of years she has worked tirelessly to raise the achievement levels of DC's young men and women.

I am so angry about the turn of events that led to her dismissal and so totally exhausted by the lack of support and appreciation by the successive administrations of her school that my faith in the DC school system and its leadership is all but gone. I question both the competence and strategy of its leadership at both a district and school level, but most of all I cannot understand the turn of events that led to her being evaluated as teacher that should be dismissed under any circumstances.

I am the fortunate position to have witnessed her inspirational teaching and her tireless dedication to her students. I include myself amongst the many teachers she has trained, and was impressed and inspired when I taught alongside her in Sudan. She was observed for no more the five minutes by her current administration.

The DC public school system is truly in a sorry, sorry state. Today, in my humble opinion, DC students lost one of their most caring and committed advocates. They cannot afford to loose many more.

Ms. George said...

Hang in there, J. You are not a failure because you have to send kids out of your class when they are not following the program--that is what consequences are for... you (student) don't keep up your end of the behavioral expectations in class, you will find yourself out of it.

VealyGoodAcrossUSA said...

Hi there MM. Picking out one thing - the instructional pieces aren't that bad, it is the transitions, and the breaks and dismissal times that are sending you bonkers. So think about your routines and expectations at these times, and how those routines and expectations are being communicated to the kids. Are they in writing? Are they in their face? How have you gone about teaching them to the kids? Mind you, that does not reduce the frustration of, Well, I now have the class going as I want, and BINGO, new student, and you have to start all over again! But if you have 29 kids doing the right thing, adding one more who is not quite sure is not such an issue.

Hang in there, seek creative solutions.