14 08 2007

So today was one of those days when I felt completely drained. It’s not like I did all that much except teach, but I’m having difficulties working with this particular class. Their energy this year is, generally speaking, so much more intense than my last year’s 7th grade and in a way I’m not prepared to deal with. It’s frustrating to me, who wants to be happy and funny and have a good time teaching kids, and I’m sure it’s frustrating for my students who want to have a good time. I want to sit them down and tell them, “Listen. You’re not being funny. All the beeping and honking and funny noises and voices you’re using right now aren’t funny. It’s all really annoying and I am really tired of it.” But I can’t. Not in those words anyway. I feel mean and stern and that’s just not me. I know beginning of the year stuff is all really different, but it seems once I loosen up a little bit, even just by cracking one smile too many, it is like a license to do stupid shit and goof off, which only makes me come back even more stern than I was before.

This is the first time I’ve taught the same curriculum two years in a row. So it’s also the first time I’ve really been able to address the needs that I notice in my students’ writing. It’s the first time I’ve even had time to do it. So now I feel like I’m ready to push them and really help them but I’m hindered by behavior and psychotic energy that only brand new 7th graders have. I think I may have been spoiled last year with calm kids. Maybe these students are textbook 7th graders and last year was just a unique group of kids.   Whatever the case, that’s what my day was like: teaching, talking, and about 40% frustration.

But the frustration must have been good for something because I went to the gym and the only reason I got off that treadmill was because I felt it was inappropriate to be on it for so long, and plus I wanted to go buy another pair of running tights. I remember when I first started teaching, in New Haven, and coming home to run off all my stress. I nearly ran myself into the ground the first couple weeks of school because of how much those kids ran ME into the ground. Last year I didn’t feel the stress so much. But this year? I’ll be spending many an evening at the gym just trying to exercise (get it?) the demons.

So now I’m back home. I joined up with my friends for dinner at Subway (it just opened here in my neck of the woods) and then we went to Riviera for vitaminas which were fabulous. All in all, despite the stress, it’s been a good day. And I’ll even get to bed early if I go now. So, fare well my dears. I am off to bed and ready to start a new day tomorrow.




2 responses

15 08 2007

I think it was the second day of school and I asked you if the sixth graders were nice. Your answer to me was: I LIKE them. Now it seems that answer is the other way around: they drive me crazy…

15 08 2007

Oh, it has nothing to do with *liking* anyone. It has everything to do with how frequently and to what degree they exhaust me. I was tired with you guys, but with these guys I want to take a nap after seven minutes of class.

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