I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I have been chanting this to myself a lot lately. As in… the more I say it to more true it will be. I have been thinking a lot this weekend about my school year and how much I am struggling and how I have been feeling really sorry for myself lately.
Then I remembered that I feel this way almost every February. The weather is cold and dreary. We can’t play outside and get fresh air and sunshine. The kids have sunk deeply into the third quarter rut. It is just a bad time for me regardless of what my teaching load looks like.
I have decided that I need to get back on track and focusing on the positive. Many years ago, for Lent I gave up talking bad about my students. Before that I gave up gossip for a semester. One year I decided to only make positive parent phone calls. Each of those years, my feelings towards school and my students improved dramatically. When I focused on the good and avoided wallowing in the negatives, I was a better teacher. Things improved at home for me as well… I had more to give to my family at the end of the day. I wasn’t nearly as cranky as I have been in recent months.
So here’s to staying positive! I am going to focus on the good because there is a lot. In each of my classes I have a handful of wonderful, amazing students that want to learn. I am not going to let a few bad apples ruin it for me or the rest of my students. I am going to teach like I know I can. I am going to own the things I can improve upon. I am not going to get stuck on the things I have no control over. I am not going to wallow in self pity over things that don’t go my way.
I am going to try to report back about the improvements I see within my classroom and share things I try. So… if you don’t hear from me for a while… you know I am busy inspiring students.
How do you get out of the rut of negativity?
“Mom get in here!” Duded yelled with a bit of terror in his voice.
“What?” I ask as the whole family goes running to the bathroom.
“I pooped a spring! I don’t know how it got in me to get pooped out but I pooped a spring!” Dude shouts with a hint of pride.
“Gross!” Bubba yelled in disgust as he stepped closer to get a better look.
Sure enough… In the toilet was one of those little tiny springs from an ink pen sticking out of Dude’s turd.
Thus began another talk with the boys about putting things in their mouths. Yes, we have found other things in their poop including a penny and a Polly-Pocket Outfit. It has been a long time since we have found anything. I thought we were in the clear. Then again… it has been a long time since I have wiped a butt or changed a diaper.
I worry about Bubba and Dude’s chances of making it to adulthood. How does a child swallow a spring and not realize it?
Does this happen to anyone else’s boys?
I just have to say Praise the Lord! Today was a fabulous day for teaching. It was one of those days where I really felt like I was doing something good. I had fun with my students and I think they learned (or remembered) something.
Fridays are test days for my classes so we spent today reviewing. I decided to play a game and my classes were really into it. I can’t take credit for the game so go visit this website. Mr. Kraft does a great job explaining and I want to give him credit for the idea. I will wait while you go look.
did you go look?
good stuff right?
I only had two boys with issues today. They threw hissy fits because they “got out” pretty early in the game. They pouted and took the alternate assignment because (in their words) “this game is dumb.”
I think I am going to go home and eat peanut butter pie to celebrate. I am also going to try to figure out how to make every day a game day.
It is no secret that I am struggling this year. This is another year of change for me and I started with high expectations. It isn’t working out the way I planned. I have a few students that are sweet and wonderful and want to learn and want to work hard but many more are (it seems) there to torture me or (in their opinion) be tortured by me.
I have spent the year feeling like I am failing as a teacher. I am not making connections. I haven’t inspired kids. I write referrals everyday because the kids don’t respect me.
Side note… I know it isn’t me. I know I am good teacher. The kids I have problems with have problems in every class and have always had trouble… they are just all together in my classes. I have a unique position in that I teach ONLY kids that struggle with math. Our department has put them all together in a way that used to work very well but things have changed (content, teachers, the world) and this way of grouping has begun to get in the way of student learning and my sanity. My students are not surrounded with positive behaviors and do not see what learning really is. Most don’t know how to be productive members of a group and they don’t play the game of school well. (We are making significant changes to our structure for next year that will solve (hopefully) this problem. Also, my department and administration have been extremely supportive and encouraging and I need to thank them more instead of feeling sorry for myself).
So this week is exceptionally tough for me. i am not sure why. I have changed my approach to my teaching in the last few weeks and it is going well (I will try to blog more about that tomorrow). However, my tough kids are being exceptionally tough this week. I am in a funk and thinking I need a mental health day soon. The only problem… my kids have given subs such a hard time that the good ones don’t want to come back to my room. (I have a professional development day coming up next week and I have a good sub… crossing my fingers that they don’t run him off too.)
So today one of my favorite girls brought two peanut butter dream pies for some event in one of her classes. When I saw her before school, I teased her about bringing me breakfast. She laughed and went on her way. After school, though, she brought me an entire pie that she had left over. She said some kind words to me and was glowing while she gave me her gift. I was glowing that she thought of me.
That’s what I ate for dinner tonight and I feel so much better. I think I will make it through the rest of the week. And if tomorrow is rough… I have more pie.
Last night Dude got really mad at me.
Like really mad.
So mad he was crying and could hardly walk.
He was mad because I wouldn’t let him watch Scooby Doo because everyone else in the house (well Bubba and me- the Hubs wasn’t home) wanted to watch the Olympics.
For almost an hour, Dude cried, yelled, and complained that the Olympics are horrible to watch and Scooby Dooby Doo was a much better choice for Sunday night viewing.
Eventually he crawled up into my lap and the complaining go a little quieter (he was still griping about it but at least it was at a reduced volume). A commercial for a cruise line came on and I said that I would love to be on cruise right now (cold weather does not suit me). This particular ship was emphasizing the fun that kids and families can have while vacationing and they showed some people on a water slide. Dude smiled and said that looked fun. I agreed. Dude asked if I would go with him down the water slide.
This is where I got hopeful that he was over not getting to watch Scooby Doo.
I told him that I would love to get on the slide with him.
He said, “Well you are too fat so you won’t get to go!” And then my charming little boy started complaining about the Olympics again.
Tonight we were again watching the Olympics and Dude was loving it. He snuggled up to me and told me that he was really sorry for what he said last night. He said, “I really do like your squishy tummy.”
Then compliments really started rolling. Here are my two favorites.
He told me I was a lot prettier than a badger. (I hope I am)
He told me that I smelled better than Bubba’s feet. (Thank goodness because Bubba’s feet stink).
Watch out ladies! Dude is one charming little boy that likes squishy tummies and has low expectations of beauty. He is going to make some girl very happy one day!