Tonight I’ll try to squeak a post in the last minutes of the shortest of all months. I last posted on February 3rd – a time that feels like eons ago for so many reasons.
This prolonged hiatus from posting my stories and funny encounters in the classroom is not the result of sleep depravation, forgetfulness, nor overwork, (as it has been in the past). The reason I’ve not posted in a while is that this February, (aside from a much needed week off last week) I’ve experienced the most difficult few weeks in my professional career. I was down on school and more upset than I have ever been at work – but now I’m really glad all of this struggle had happened.
If you talked to me during the beginning and middle of February and asked me about work – its safe to say that I was unusually down on myself and conflicted about a bunch of things going on at school. I had a tough transition into the 3rd marking period, and many of my students were not responding to my seminar class or my attempts at motivation. Everything seemed to explode in my face when I had an insanely poor observation lesson where almost everything that possibly could have went wrong did. I can’t go into the details – its just too traumatic still.
This led me to a mini-life teacher crisis and a stinging feeling that all my students had just let me down during the time I needed them the most. I felt like a caring Dad who had tried so hard to reach his children and everything backfired in his tired and confused face. Now you can see why I didn’t feel like I had much positive or funny to share…That would just be awful to read about right?
Looking back at those tumultuous few weeks, I feel a hundred times better now. Aside from feeling bad for myself like a big ol’ loser for a few days, I’ve worked really hard and I changed my entire class to make my lessons more engaging . In the past two weeks alone, I’ve re-packaged and switched my class to ‘Current Events’ and done entire lessons on Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga in a unit about what makes a role model.
It’s hard to admit when your wrong or need a major change, but I really needed the slap in the face in order to get back to reality. In order to figure out a way to climb out of a pretty depressing hole with my students, I needed to change a whole lot.
Currently, I’m more content with the content that I’m able to bring into class, and I feel that I’ve won back most of the kids. (last month they were ready to revolt because they felt bored, stupid, and angry for being put in my class).
Now that school is back in full swing after February Break, we have 7 straight weeks with only a few days off. I’ll most definitely be keeping an eye out for intriguing quotes during my push-ins with the 9th graders reading Romeo and Juliet, and other situations that offer major comic relief.
Finally, it’s time to grind it out, stay hopeful, and set a positive tone for many of these struggling students who are used to people giving up on them.