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The View from Saturday #13

#thewonderofwonder
#nerdybookclub

Warning: Just a bunch of sad mope-iness today.

Maybe thirteen is unlucky.

It was  a hard week. One of the hardest. Shouldn’t the hardest be in September/October, and not December? I don’t even really want to write about it. I just want to pretend it didn’t happen.

Not because of Reading and Writing Workshop. Just because of…students. Or, really, because of me, and my inability to motivate/tolerate/manage/help those…students. How do we get to December with these same problems? What am I doing wrong, and how can I make it right? How can I help students see the impact of their choices, and want to change to make them more positive?

Frustrating.

Infuriating.

Disappointing.

Exhausting.

I know why new teachers leave.

But I’m not a new teacher.

Next week is a new week.

I’m so, so glad you’re with me. I couldn’t make it through this without you.

Also, if it’s going to be this cold, can’t we have some snow?

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3 Comments

  1. Sally says:

    I’m sitting in Arlington, VA watching it snow/sleet and have my fingers crossed that I get a delayed or snow day tomorrow as I am exhausted and feel a bit like you…I’m frustrated and not sure if I am helping my students to make progress and it is Dec. 8th…

    There is still so much I am not doing in RW and WW. And I feel I am not serving my students well as a math teacher. And I shouldn’t be so excited about only 10 more (or 9 is the weather keeps up) days and then 16 days off for Winter Break.

    But I am with you…this job is exhausting. Yet, to help, I KNOW I am helping many students. I also know I am spending too much time being distracted by a few in my room who have no self-control and like to be the class-clowns and take my attention away from the majority doing what they need to do.

    I also know that my New Year’s Resolution needs to be to refocus on why I returned to the classroom – to teach RW and WW daily and to get better at it. I need to keep my standards high (taught to me by Lucy and the TCRWP) but also realize that I am making progress with ALL students, even if it feels slow.

    It has helped me to re-watch Rita’s TED TALK.:

    I do (and I think you do, too) like kids and have made relationships with each of the 27 in my 4th grade classroom and those that are so hard to like, who are never absent, are learning, too. They are just making me really earn my pay!!

    Hang in there and I will too!
    Sally
    Back in the Classroom: http://teachingreadingandwriitngworkshop.blogspot.com/

  2. Lisa says:

    So, I’ve now read a few of these and wish I knew how your year progressed. Did they continue to be a tough class, or did you sort them out? I have been on parental leave for a few years and have now been going through some of my stuff to get ready for my return in September. I found some old writing collections and was shocked that I published and kept some of it! I had to really remind myself that it must have been the best they could do, and we must have spent considerable time to get there or I wouldn’t have published it. Reflecting on that has helped me with my perspective!

    • Mr. S says:

      They were tough till the end. I know I made progress with them, but it was minimal and well below my expectations of myself and my hopes for them. I am yet to feel sad when a school year ends, but strangely, this year I was a little sad. Not because I’ll miss them, because I most certainly won’t, but because there are some really nice kids in that grade that will have to deal with the clowns and the jokers and the bullies for the rest of their public schooling (we are a small district–one school at each level). It was sort of heartbreaking.

      Things got a little better by the end, but it was a hard, hard year. My hardest ever. This summer is about recovery and healing and getting back to the type of person I have always been and want to be, not the very unfamiliar, stressed, scarred, grumpy, sad, short-tempered person that some of those students brought to life. I’ve never had a year like that, and I hope I never do again.

      I wanted to keep these reflections going all year, but I just didn’t have the energy.

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