It Happens Every time!

***WARNING- This post is a little long!***

Dear Readers,

Without fail, whenever I am on a high from something wonderful, something happens immediately afterwards to knock me down a peg or two. Just when I think that I have this teaching thing in a bag and I’m not on the fence anymore about wanting to quit, I will have an unusually bad day. This happened a couple of months ago with two students who I’ll call Jean Luc & Chet.

It was a regular Friday morning with my 2nd period, which I classify as my easy class since I only have seven students. Per usual, I broke the class into three groups, with two groups having two students (10th), and one group having three students (9th). I was super excited because I prepared a Shakespeare lesson for the ninth graders who are reading Romeo & Juliet. I was going to have them watch a video on TEDx Talk with MC Lars, a Stanford educated rapper who makes comical edutainment videos while rapping about Shakespearean lyrics, Edgar Allan Poe, and other literary topics.

The first video is entitled “The hip-hop of Shakespeare” (click here for video). The second video (my favorite) is, “Flow Like Poe!”(click here for video). In the video, he explains what iambic pentameter is, a trochee, and a host of other Shakespearean terms. The video is seriously goofy, but contains so much useful information. When I put it on, my students usually half-heartedly groan when I put it on the first time, but after I’ve played it and they “get” Iambic pentameter they usually request it.

I wrote/said that to say that, instead of the usual groaning, I got complaints that were above and beyond; they were actually mean. They were doing extras, as the kids say. I have to explain that one student has to something to say about everything; I mean everything. I don’t like his constant complaining, but I’m used to it. However, on Friday, I was not patient with him.

I had to call in the 9th grade counselor for help for Chet because he would not stop talking as I was talking to him. This particular student has made me call my desire to teach into question because I used to be patient with students like him. I used to want to reach them. Now, I do not have the patience nor a desire to reach this particular student.

I feel really bad because I was trying to be patient with Chet because he’s recently had a personal tragedy, but I am at my wits end. I have tried everything that I know and he’s  taking advantage of my kindness at this point.

As for Jean Luc, I called his parents and gave him Reflection Hour (detention).

I was so exhausted that I went home and went to bed at 7 p.m. I kept trying to get up to do some work, but I was absolutely exhausted.

The next day, I didn’t have a lot of time and patience to handle the situation again today with the same students.

But, through it all, I had to remind myself that it was a bad day and not a bad career.

bad day 4

3 thoughts on “It Happens Every time!

  1. I have so much admiration and respect for you as an educator. I didn’t realize how much teachers had to deal with until I had Rashaad and Maariyah and joined the PTA and got to know teachers on a personal level. Educators actually have our children longer than WE do and you all should be paraded around with rose petals thrown at your feet ala “Coming to America”. I think you handled yourself beautifully and you are right…a bad DAY doesn’t equal a bad CAREER. We are human and it’s impossible to turn off emotions. You have such a passion for teaching and believe me, you are embedded in the subconscious minds of these children whether you can see it now or not. They will recall you and the lessons you taught them throughout their lives, just like all of us remember that ONE teacher we had who cared enough to go above and beyond to reach our minds. Keep doing an AMAZING job!!

  2. I can relate. Sometimes I will “take a break” for a day or two from dealing with that student. Meaning I pledge to ignore them or tell them if they can’t get it together they can just sit at another table/ area of the room with a boring worksheet. They either usually choose to do it, or not and I rarely even check it. Then when I’ve had time to relax and think of a better action plan (usually the next day) I try again. It’s ok to let the student have a consequence even if they are having a hardship (in my opinion). I know it’s so frustrating. Hang in there.

  3. Chelsea, thank you so much for the encouragement. I sometimes wonder who’s reading my blog because, besides my sister, Jeanette, hardly anyone replies. Sometimes I’m just venting, while at other times I want someone to comment. Thanks for making my day.

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