January 28, 2012

Thinking through a bad week

GAH.  This week was a rough one.  Not so much on the home front, but on the job/school front.  My 100 sixth graders were absolutely off the wall this week.  So much disrespect, so much attitude...sigh.  I guess I should be used to it by now, but by Thursday afternoon I had *had it*.  I was DONE.  I even got so mad I told my students I was quitting.  I grabbed an empty box that happened to be sitting in my room and started packing up all my personal items (pictures of my kids and things like that).  (And no, I wasn't doing it as a manipulation technique...I was truly considering walking out that door and never going back.)  They got SO QUIET.  It was amazing -- I had begun to think there was something physically wrong that these kids could not sit still and be quiet for any length of time...but they did it.  At the end of class I got several letters from them apologizing for being so rude and not listening to me.  Of course, I cried.  First I was crying because I was MAD and then I was crying because, doggone it, I really do care about my students.  UGH.  Sometimes I wish I didn't care. It'd be so much easier to just NOT CARE.  Then all the rude comments and behavior just wouldn't bother me.  Maybe I need to go back on my happy pills.
Friday morning I really didn't want to go to work.  I didn't want to see the kids.  Some part of me thought it would be great to be out and let the kids think I really DID quit because they were so bad.  But, that's mean and I just couldn't do it.  I went in, of course, and oh my goodness...I got clobbered with hugs.  They told me they were so relieved to see me, they were so sorry, they didn't want me to go...It was sweet.  I start to think I must be the worst teacher in the world and terribly ineffective, then my kids go and do this kind of sweet stuff.  Maybe I'm not the best teacher ever and maybe I never will be...but I know now that I matter to them.  In some way, I am making a difference in my students' lives. That's a nice feeling.  I know it'll be gone by Monday, so for now I am enjoying knowing that in some small way, I'm making a difference.

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