Ok, I know I’ve been bad about posting recently. I also know that it is the crazy days that have been keeping me from taking the time to tell you what is going on. And I will be perfectly honest, the last few weeks have had a large CRAZY written all over them.
Let start somewhere familiar. We moved into our new house in early August. Shortly after (a little before) we started back to school, each with new jobs. Mine teaching second grade and Keith as an assistant principal. Because of this relocation we had to sell our other house, and that finally happened this week. The official papers were signed and we are now just a single home family again. Whew, that is a big relief.
Now back to the crazy. Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to concentrate on my classroom, which I will say now was (and still is in a way) falling apart. When I took this job, I knew it would be tough, but I never realized that it would be like this. And before I go any farther in this discussion, I want you to know that this is not a reflection on the kids or myself as a teacher. It is just what I have experienced int he past few weeks and how I’ve worked through it.
In my classroom, I have a wonderful set of 20 (now 19) kids. These kids are easy to love and hard to handle some days. Over the past few weeks, the behaviors in the class have increased and became completely unmanageable, and despite everything I tried the behaviors just increased.
This past week, I hit my breaking point. On Thursday, I woke up to find an email in my inbox letting me know that someone was coming to observe my classroom. I broke down. I was in no place for someone to come in a see my classroom, and what if they see it and judge me as a teacher. (This is usually what happens when someone comes into your classroom and kids are misbehaving. Somehow it is always your fault.)
Anyways, I cried for about 45 minutes that morning. I cried getting dressed, putting on my makeup (which ended up running down my face), and part of the way to work. When I got there, a couple of teacher came into see me and they, God bless them, talked me down and gave me the strength to go into that day.
I built up a quick supply of courage and brought the kids into the classroom. The hammer fell that day. I had a couple kids ask me if I was mad. No not mad, but tired of all the stuff that was going on in the classroom. Everything has accumulated into a big ball of chaos, and now I’m trying to find a way to fix it.
When my visitors arrived, I immediately bombarded with tantrums and fits that are associated with my day. In the few minutes they were in there, I had to call the office because I had a runner, another had a fit of anger, and one wondered around as if the classroom was his personal wonderland. But I have to say, when they were in the room, I felt no judgement. They asked a few questions and I answered honestly. Yes, this was what it was like most he time, and no I don’t have help all the time. They helped the best they could and then left the room to go to another.
By the end of the day, I had experienced a better day then I had in several weeks, and I was able to get somethings accomplished curriculum wise. I also had a chance to talk to the ladies who came to observe my classroom.
Jane was with Safe and Civil Schools, and she specializes in helping teacher sort through problems in their classrooms and figure out what improves or tweaks they need to make. I loved talking to them and my principal because they reassured me that I’m capable of tackling everything in my classroom and it was an anomaly because I had so many kids who needed support in the classroom, but has nothing to support them.
So, while talking to them I got some homework. The first was to make a list of my non-negotiable behavior in the classroom. I also needed to come up with a list of consequences for the students when they broke the rules. The second piece of homework was to figure out what behaviors I wanted to tackle first and come up with a plan for when I see them in the classroom.
There are a lot of good things happening in my classroom, but having the support of my principal and other teachers is vital to making sure I can do my job. I’m sure there will be more to talk about later, and I sure the next time I will be able to share more positive happenings in my classroom.
Good bye for now. Have a great week.