Half way through this year... this is the toughest time of the year. Morale for teachers and the students is low. It's dreary and cold outside (this year colder than usual with no snow to pretty things up). I like to share this graphic because it is so very true for the rollercoaster that is a teacher's life.
This year I have a particular class that have the worst attitudes... they have been wearing me down like a river. I am really hard on myself when I get classes like this and students like this because I feel like I could have managed things better to prevent it. Today I heard from another teacher who was having very similar issues, and although I hate to see it happen to another since I know how it feels, I am, also, relieved that it doesn't just happen to me. For my students they got to get an ear full of a pity/guilt party where I laid my feelings and barely held back tears out for them letting them know that I did not appreciate their bad attitudes and cruel words and that if they couldn't get their attitudes in check and didn't need this course for a credit we should part ways and they could go do running start, get a job, or be a TA because it wasn't fair to me, or their peers to keep rotting up the barrel. I got through to a few who are now doing something else, one of which had the stinkiest attitude of them all. woo. Thankfully, this class is an anomaly and the rest of my classes are some amazing FRESHMEN (blows my mind, too, that 15 year olds are amazing in math class) and they lighten my spirit. They are hilarious, kind and loyal. They have bad days and bad attitudes but nothing like my older kids that wear me down.
The freshmen this year have been fabulous. They want to come hang out with me in my room. Even students that aren't mine who are friends of my students come in and hang out... a couple of them coming in when their friends aren't even with them. I help them with their homework (math and whatever) or sometimes we just chat. It is awesome. The other day in class they were fighting over who was my favorite student and I told them I loved them all the same... which is mostly true. They have slipped and called me mom a few times (one class even tried to make it stick instead of calling me Mrs. W). And lately the girls have become really huggy which just throws me off and I have to give that weird and awkward back tap hug to avoid impropriety.
As a teacher you have these kids in your life for a short period of time, a year usually and couple years if you are truly lucky, and sometimes there are kids that come through during that time that just connect with you. I have some kids I look forward to seeing and hearing from everyday. I know they are good for a laugh, or to spark an interesting conversation. I always hate it when these students leave me early... I have had a couple of students in the past move on (to other schools usually) before our time is up and I feel cut short.
I have some really tough kids this year. I hate to see the students who are struggling at home for all the different reasons. I hate when they come to me and ask if I have some food because their stomach is growling and they can't focus. It is just not fair. I hope that for these kids I can provide for them something they need even if it isn't to have taught them all the math they needed to know this year. I know that I was meant to be a teacher for these kids. And hopefully, through that I can get a little bit of math snuck in there too.
Okay, now that I am all teary eyed I am going to stop. I am gonna TRY to write more often. I like writing. If you read this and appreciate it please leave me a message. I hate feeling like I am talking to myself.