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.