I felt so frustrated today. My students did too. Some of them really showed me they wanted to learn and tried so hard to fight the urge to become explosive alongside peers who were loud, big, and aggressive.
I had a lot of runners today. Five out of eight ran at one point in the day or another. Four of those five ran throughout the majority of the afternoon.
I yelled. I yelled and then a kid yelled and another adult told him not to yell. But I had yelled. God, I don’t want to be doing this, feeling this only 8 days in! I had been doing so much better last year!
I sat with students and talked today too. Heard about deaths in their families along with stories of really hard and scary things they’ve witnessed. We spoke openly about some home situations and how hard they must be. And I invited students to feel like this classroom was there’s. Not to tear down but to build up, to create as the space they want to be in.
But I find myself feeling like my class is once again set up for failure having such a large age range (from 5-8 years old). But then I think, geez Beth, maybe it’s you. I mean, maybe I just don’t know how to start a school year. Maybe no matter how hard I try I can’t get my shit together right in the beginning.
I read all this great stuff written by apparently calm people who seem to have answers to some of the dilemmas I face. But I wonder, if they had entered my classroom today what would they have done? If they walked in when one student was running away from adults,e moving quickly around the room teasing another student by saying “You suck dick at home” over and over. The student being bullied was visibly nearing an explosion.
Chairs were lifted (and most often grabbed before being thrown). Pushing, hitting, kicking, spitting…all happened. My calm voice didn’t work my loud voice didn’t work. I had a picture schedule up but we didn’t even have a chance to look at it. What would the authors of these books do faced with the reality of these kids. I don’t doubt they’d do something and probably teach me something but just reading about it isn’t all I need. I need to see success. I need to work with someone who can model how a classroom like mine runs.
And then at the end of the day only my 1st graders and one 2nd grader were in the room and for a little I was the only adult. One student shared her new doctor kit. I was the patient. My temperature was high. I needed lots of shots. My ears looked good. My heart (which one doctor found in my shoulder) was fine. I was told I shouldn’t take medicine because I would die but rest was ok.
And for that beautiful moment they were kids and we had fun.