Friday, September 6, 2013


This is a lot of Straw
This is the last straw
Frankly, I don't really know what my straw count is. It felt like my last straw was robbed today when I sent a student out of the classroom for lighting their shoe with a lighter and than lying about having the lighter ..... they also sit in the front row, so clearly they doubt my intelligence. 

The last two days have been pretty bad. And although the 8th graders I have are tough, a lot of it has to do with the learning curve of classroom management that I'm slowly ascending. Wednesday was GREAT! They were so well behaved in class, I didn't know what to do. I got nervous in the middle of class because I felt like I wasn't taking full advantage of how good they were being. I actually prepared a lot for Thursday. I consulted the teacher's guide for the first time and really felt like I had a good plan for the double period, but a series of things went wrong with my plan (ie technology) and they were antsy because it was the afternoon and really hot out plus the fact that they are 8th graders and 8th graders are a unique type of being that needs to be coddled the right way or they will explode. Then I couldn't explain well enough why you use the present perfect progressive and why you use the past perfect progressive and basically everything just sort of slipped out of control. I'm really not proud of Thursday. I don't blame them for being mad at me, because I haven't been consistent in the way I discipline them. And I know what its like to have an inconsistent teacher and I really don't want to be that. But I'll be darned if these 23 youngens don't learn to sit and listen to directions without whispering to their neighbors every 3 seconds. 

So I really didn't want to go to class today because I was still in a bad mood from yesterday and I both felt like I needed to address what happened yesterday, but also knew that it was still too close to talk about and I really didn't have a solution. So, instead I planned a boring lesson that didn't involve a lot of teaching. And I hated myself the entire lesson. I was mean. And cold. Also, its really not fun having to take someone out of class. That shook me up a bit. They were rude and disrespectful and I think I stood my ground alright, but it wasn't fun. That's the part that makes me the saddest- being a teacher I can't respect. 

So, after class, I ran away to the book store and read children's books (This is Not My Hat aka Das Ist Nicht Mein Hut) and hung out with Elke, the wonderful owner. 

This is one of my favorite poems. Its by Mary Oliver.


I go down to the shore in the morning
And depending on the hour the waves
Are rolling in or moving out,
And I say, oh, I am miserable,
What shall-
What should I do? And the sea says
In its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

I like this poem because its a lesson I need to be reminded of often. I know that I can wallow in my sadness longer than is really beneficial, and this poem is telling me stop feeling sorry for myself, pull myself together and resolve my problems, rather than feel miserable about them. I've been thinking about that a lot today, because today is not a good day. But, I'm making the active choice to not feel miserable about it all. 

Something my sister and I do when we are feeling sad/mad/any other negative emotion is play "The I Like" game. You can only start sentences with "I like" and you play until everyone feels better and is usually laughing. 

I like iced coffee after school
I like that I can understand the book I am reading in German 
I like folk bands
I like wine festivals
I like being able to walk to school
I like wearing my blue dress
I like how willing the other teachers are to help me
I like living in Germany
I like cooking with pumpkins
I like baking on Saturdays 
I like wooden blocks
I like woolen socks
I like writing poems
I like memorizing lines 
I like walls of photographs
I like the color red 

see. you try it. it works. 

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely going to play this game. Also props for kicking that kid out of the classroom. Seriously kid?