Friday, February 17, 2012

It Gets Worse and Then Better

Today, I returned to my classes after being out sick yesterday. Some of the kids expressed how much they missed me, while others continued to drive me up the wall with their behavior. My sub left reports for each class, and I was shocked to see that my normally GOOD class was "terrible and loud". That surprised me a lot, and I let them know how disappointed in them I am. They seemed to take it seriously.

My normally crazy, rowdy class, however, had a note left saying that they "were on task, completing their work, and by far was the best class of the day." Naturally, I was SHOCKED but in a good way this time. All day long (because I have those kiddos at the very end of the day) I planned out what I could do for them to make the day special since they received that glowing report from the sub. When they came in, I told them how happy I was and how proud of them I am. Then, I let a boy pass out some treats his mother had donated for just this occasion, and the kids loved that. I also told them that instead of writing today, we would be playing a game. I want them to know that yes, they WILL be rewarded for their positive behavior. Well, as soon as we started playing the game (Brainquest in teams for extra credit -- which my kids normally love!) they got super rowdy and just couldn't handle themselves AT ALL in a manner that sixth graders should be capable of.

Instead of playing the game, we ended it, and they began to do their daily writing that the other classes had already done. I calmly explained to them why they lost the privilege, but they kept talking over me. I was so upset that I silently wrote on the board how disappointed I was in them after looking forward to their class all day. I also thanked the few who were being respectful and responsible so they knew I did appreciate that. The kids then started MOCKING what I had written on the board in silly voices. I just can't handle this anymore. I am losing my self confidence and wondering if I even majored in the right thing. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a teacher after all.

Tonight, I picked Dan up and we went to dinner. As we sat in the restaurant, I told him everything I needed to about today while stifling back tears the whole time. He is such a great listener, and he just took everything in while giving some small feedback. When we got home, however, he gave me a pretty long back massage because I am so stressed and he sees that. He then proceeded to give me some AMAZING ideas and tips to use with my kiddos next week. He didn't even go to school for education, and he is better at this than I am -- but I am not complaining. Any help I can get I will take right now. I have a couple solid ideas of new things to to motivate them and encourage them because I think that it part of the problem. They don't care about school or learning because they don't think they'll make it through anyway. I am going to prove them wrong. They CAN make it. They CAN succeed. And if I have anything to do with it, they WILL.

I am so thankful that Dan is so helpful. He is always there for me when I need him, and I have been needing him a lot more than normal lately. I am blessed to be able to call on him for help when I need it and that he is willing to sacrifice his own time to help me. He also told me that he will come down to my school (even in uniform so they'll take him seriously) and have a talk about whatever I need him to. He knows they lie and steal constantly, so he thought about maybe bringing up the Cadet Honor Code and how serious of a thing it is -- and maybe making a Classroom Honor Code for each class. I wonder if they would enjoy that or take him seriously. The last thing I want is for them to disrespect him as well.

It's getting late now, and I need to sleep this day off. Goodnight, world.


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