nerve damage

Saturday, November 2, 2013

As the school year goes on, my patience has run as thin as piece of chiffon fabric. At the beginning of the year, my students were the least of my problems. Working in an urban school surely has it's ups and downs in terms of the students. The student population is truly just different. The students have grown up in a completely different environment and you have to accept them as they are and not what you wish they would be.

So I admit at the beginning of the year I went in with this mindset. It worked for a while and slowly almost instantly the school began to drag on me. The work load of a teacher is absolutely insane- especially for a first year teacher teaching an AP class. The workload for an urban teacher is even more heavy. This week I realized that all of the stresses of my life that have been caused by my new job (not spending time with family or friends, thinking about how badly I want to sleep all the time, working dusk till dawn, spending money on school supplies, etc.) have also caused me to forget why I teach and how to be an effective teacher.

I had a student who came back a week and a half ago from 10 days outside school suspension. She did all the work I assigned her to do while she was out, provided her with notes from the unit, and she only had to make up the test. This past Thursday & Friday, our school had "amnesty day," which is just a day for students to catch up on missing work. Now whether or not I agree with amnesty day is a whole different store (I do not... but so many kids are failing and our school is under sever watch by the district and the state) but none-the-less we were required to do so. I asked my student to make up her test while others were making up work or doing another assignment. She started arguing with me in front of the class and I was already on my last nerve for the morning, so I got angry. Told her I was going to write a referral. Called her home in the middle of class (no answer). She was angry and refused to do any work. I was angry and refused to deal with the situation. As I sat typing up her referral, she asked to go to the bathroom. And something clicked. I realized that I am dealing with the situation in a way I never imagined myself doing. I called the girl out of the room to have a chat.

It went really well. I told her where I was coming from, how something like that would make me angry, and she told me why she didn't want to take the test. She apologized- I apologized. It was in that moment that I realized I have let my patience run too thin- things that don't even involve my students have gotten so that I am constantly on my last nerve even at the start of the day. I cannot let myself be caught up in the madness that surrounds me or I will never be able to handle my students the way I have always intended. I want my students to know I care- so it stops with me threatening them or being annoyed at their constant lack of progress. Instead it starts with me talking to them. Being real with them. Showing them that I am a human too.

This week Josh & I volunteered to help out at a school carnival fundraiser. Josh was dunked for 45 minutes in a dunk tank and I hung out with students and ran a cupcake walk. It was so fun to see the students let loose and enjoy life- and they had a blast watching me dance to their favorite songs like The Wobble & Soulja Boy. Apparently I have over 100 likes on Instagram from a students video post of me dancing....

teachers can have fun too :)

enjoy the weekend!


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