Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This is going to be a whiny post

Just warning you.

I am so frustrated this year. I feel constantly overwhelmed and stressed out and I don't really know why. I am still learning the kids names, and sometimes I don't recognize the kids themselves. Usually by this time I can at least recognize them! I have two classes, one to start the day and one to finish the day, that are so frustrating that I either begin or end the day in tears 2-3 times a week. I'm kind of a baby anyway, but seriously!! So in an effort to try and make my classes more successful, I asked my vice-principal to switch one of the kids in that class into a different class. From talking to this kids teachers from last year, what I kept hearing was that he was motivated but easily distracted, so moving him from my largest, loudest class into my smallest, quietest class seemed to make a lot of sense. I have done this before, just asked to do a straight swap, like flip-flop a student's English and Social Studies classes It is an easy switch and usually helps everyone concerned. This year when I asked to do that, I got an email from both the counselor and the principal asking why, if I had documented problems, if I had written the kid an office referral, if I had called home, etc. No...because I am trying to PREVENT problems, not wait until the problems get so bad that the kid digs himself into a hole he can't get out of. Managing a class of 29 exceptionally immature sophomores is hard enough without having a legitimate decision questioned by the people who are supposed to be helping.

Not only that, but the power apparently went out last night and when that happens, the fire doors over the window in my classroom slam shut, so when I came in this morning my classroom was reminiscent of a windowless box, and it stayed like that all day. When I asked if it could be opened, the response was "don't you have a key?" No. I do not. Grr.

Then, because 1st period isn't crazy enough as it is, I lost 30 minutes to an earthquake drill (because flinging yourself under a plastic desk will save you from falling masonry) and a fire drill. So my slowest class is now even further behind my other classes. Awesome.

In addition, I tripped over a kid's backpack in 1st period and fell, so both of my wrists and my right knee are sore. It was funny, so I laughed with the kids (after they kindly asked if I was ok), but it still hurts a little, and didn't do much for my already tender neck.

On another mildly funny note, I teach mental mapping in my class, which is learning to draw the world using easy-to-remember shapes, and we are working on Europe. Greece looks like a goat's udder, so when we were reviewing this in my 3rd period (which is my favorite, and amazing class), one girl asked in all seriousness what an udder was. The kid sitting next to her responded, again in all seriousness, not trying to be snarky, that it was "you know, the thing you yank milk from." Not all of the kids heard him and it was mildly inappropriate, so I tried as hard as I could to not laugh, but I could NOT keep it in and started uncontrollably giggling...so hard that I have makeup on my sleeve where I wiped away the tears.

So.....my dread for 6th period lives on. I am getting a lot of practice in sentence-prayers such as "give me patience," "don't let me lose my temper," taking deep breaths and counting to ten before speaking.

So far, not working.


MIA said...

i think teaching is so much fun! of course it most likely wears out after some time. but still..)))

Colleen said...

Glad to hear you are hanging in there. Sorry they are not being helpful...the VPs, did not expect much from counselors. Since you tried my "throw yourself on the floor" tactic to get their attention, you may want to try the "I'm going to throw myself out the window" threat. It has more umph from you on the 3rd floor than me on the 1st. Call you later.

Colleen said...

"throw yourself on the floor" tactic was not on purpose, though