Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Today sucked.

Yesterday was pretty decent. Notice I rarely say a day was "good." I'm too cautious and superstitious and realistic to think an entire day with ten year olds can be accurately described as just "good."

Today was not decent. I used up all of my week's patience yesterday and my two worst boys used up all of their decency. Combined with two extra periods of teaching, this made for an unhappy and decidedly cranky teacher.

Chatty Chad was removed from the class a long time ago. Don't even know when and never really dwelled on it because Loud Leo immediately took the forefront of the class. And continues to occupy it, finding new and different ways to be completely inappropriate every goddamn day. Deliberately malicious, too.

And of course there's another one that I haven't mentioned. He came to the class maybe in October and what a treat it's been. Not. He's beyond just chatty. He never ever stops talking. I'll call him Talkative Ted. He's also angry and disrespectful to just about every single person he encounters. Kids, adults, whoever.

Leo and Ted both had decent days yesterday and horrible days today. I am ready to throw them and myself out the window.

I've been finding excuses for weeks and could easily continue to, but I think it might finally be time for a mental health day. I don't think I've ever taken one before January in the last five years. (Of course, last fall I was a complete and utter mess; maybe I *should* have taken a day or two off.)

Even though Christmas is only three weeks away, December still seems like a long and lonely slog. I want to make it. And I want to make it past a week of January. Last year continues to weigh on me and when I'm frustrated and annoyed at the stupid shit kids do, I'm like, wow, and it was so much worse last year! How did I do it?! How did I survive? The answer is I wasn't really; I was taking pills to stop the daily crying and pills to let me sleep a few hours. I don't want to be that person again. I don't think I am. I certainly don't feel like an awesome teacher, but I don't think I'm the worst teacher in the world. Leo does his worst stuff when I'm not there, and though my class is quite cuckoo pants, they are much better for me than for their electives teachers.

Anyway, it's late and I needed to be in bed an hour ago. Never enough time! That's one thing I really am trying to work on. I'm getting there, slowly, sort of.


David Patterson said...

I teach ELA in a pretty dysfunctional middle school on the West Side, although probably not more so than many other schools in the city. This is my second year. Perhaps its therapeutic for you to write out all of your students' misbehavior in narrative form, but I can't help but thing it might be making it worse. Although I know you write about a lot of positive things as well.

Anyway, one thing's for sure going to make it worse: taking a day off. Especially right now. Use the weekend to stop. Focus on the last sentence of your penultimate paragraph and think about what it means. It probably means more than you think.

Good luck.

Clix said...

I liked this post and chose to include it in this week's EduCarnival. If you would like to have it removed, please email me at uncomfortableadventures (at) yahoo (dot) com to let me know, and I will delete the link.

You can submit an article to the next issue of EduCarnival v2 by using the handy-dandy carnival submission form. Past carnivals and future scheduled editions can be found on the blog carnival index page.

I love getting to read posts from people I'm not familiar with, so it'd be awesome if you'd put up a quick note encouraging your readers to submit as well!

Ms M. said...

I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with the first poster...take a day off! I find that while it wrecks the classroom, it refreshes me...I actually just took 2 days, for the first time in a row because I had the flu. It was the BEST CHOICE EVER. The kids were so much better when I returned. One day seems to rile them up, two really freaks them out and I got hugs upon my return!

Schoolgal said...

You deserve a mental health day. Kids appreciate you more when you are not there.

As for your troublemakers..throw them out of the room. Or make them sit alone near your desk or in the back of the room. Do not include them in any holiday activities. Send him to the office when he disrupts the class.
Ask the guidance counselor to take him. My school had many kids sitting in the main office.

Have you had a sitdown with the parent??? You can include the guidance counselor or your admin in the meeting.