Wednesday, May 25, 2011

19 Days and Counting

I have to confess something....this has been a really tough year for me.

I haven't connected to the kids the way that I did last year, and am very frustrated with my 4th period. That class has not matured to the same level that normally occurs with sophomores by this time....in fact, I'm pretty sure they've actually regressed. Today, I had to kick two kids out of that class within 5 minutes, because one was threatening the other and the other kid refused to stop running his mouth (which was inspiring the threats). I can't deal with them anymore, so I called security and had them removed. I saw them both wandering the halls later in the day, so I'm sure they'll be back in class tomorrow.

Working on my national board certification was incredibly stressful for me. It took me a long time to figure out how to write the way I needed to, and I am still very unsure about the quality of my work. In addition, I am actually not done with the process, as there is a content based test to take in less than 3 weeks, and I have not yet had time to study for it. Since it covers world history, US history, economics, geography, government and current world issues, I need to study, but feel really overwhelmed about the entire process.

I am frustrated with the lack of skills acquisition with my kids. We have been working on thesis writing for the entire year, and on the last paper the kids turned in, I still have kids not writing thesis statements, not following instructions, not doing this thing that we have worked on for so long. It makes me really discouraged, makes me question my ability as a teacher, and makes me wonder if I am in the wrong profession entirely.

I am the senior advisor, and last weekend was prom, which was stressful, and in about 2 weeks is graduation. I had nightmares about prom for several days beforehand, and although it seems really petty, none of the kids really said thank you.

An opportunity has presented itself to assist the ASB (student council) advisor next year, which both of us would really like. She is too busy and is doing her national boards next year, and while I do love the social aspect of being an advisor, I do not want to take charge of another class for a few years. The problem is that we are running into obstacles with the VP. It's too long and complicated to go into here, but it is frustrating and I don't know what to do that will annoy the fewest people.

The same VP observed me a few weeks ago, and in my evaluation stated her belief that I need to do more direct instruction and not put the kids into groups (they currently sit in groups of two). On the one hand I am trying to recognize that she has an alternative point of view and sees my classroom with different eyes than I do. But on the other hand, I think that she's wrong. She told me that there were several students off task while she observed me, and that they were distracting to everyone else in class. What I saw was a class of 17 boys, who for once didn't talk about basketball for longer than 10 seconds, who got back on task as soon as I gave them the stinkeye, and did a difficult assignment in small groups while talking quietly about the assignment. I am frustrated with a less than stellar evaluation (although she didn't mark me down in any category, she did spend 2 paragraphs talking about how I could improve by using more direct instruction) and a feeling that for the first time I have fallen short of some set of expectations that I don't want to measure up to, but feel the compelling urge to conform with.

I am tired of the incessant rain that we have had this winter. I love Seattle and most winters I think that we get a bad rap about the weather. Normally I think the weather is beautiful here. But for some reason this winter I have really struggled. I don't know if it is a combination of the issues mentioned above as well as the unseasonably long winter, or simply the weather, but I am done with rain. This year, more than any other, I am ready to see some sun.

On top of everything else, I haven't been sleeping very well. I am so tired that I sit down and fall asleep....(including for about a minute during class yesterday - embarrassing!) but when I go to bed, my mind races and I toss and turn for hours without sleep. I got only 3 hours on Sunday night, and not much more than that the last two nights.

There are only 19 more days of school, so I think I will make it, but at this point it's a bit of a toss-up. I could use some good news.

1 comment:

Lisa E said...

I'm here for ya if I can help! I'll help you study or correct papers or help out with chores or help you pack or just bring ice cream and melatonin. Whatever you need, just holler! HUGS!