The Learning Curve

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 25 2011

Still wouldn’t trade it…

…although you should ask me come October.

I guess you know you’re in the right place when things go terribly but you still want to keep your job.

Today my class was completely out of pocket and then my school had two (then four) simultaneous fights break out. My school is K-12, so even though it was secondary schoolers doing the brawling, it was a very chaotic environment for all.

It wasn’t as bad as it seemed at the time, as is the nature of these sorts of things… or maybe I’ve just seen far too many fights to be objective. It could’ve been worse. No one was armed, which is a definite plus when it comes to schoolyard battles, and to my knowledge no one was seriously injured. I did catch an elbow to the face from a student running past me (unintentional on the student’s part, I’m positive) but no harm, no foul. It’s got me thinking of next steps for my 3rd graders. God bless them, but my second class completely lost their minds this afternoon, after one student reacted really poorly to a consequence he’d earned and another just refused to follow directions at all. I had to have a very stern come-to-Jesus moment with all of them and I think they were kind of surprised at how quickly and severely I just shut down all semblance of anything resembling fun. Now I’m trying to figure out how to best engage them going forward. I’m working on culture, big time, because I think some of them are comfortable enough with me now to start regressing back to last year’s attitudes, and I want to catch them before its irrevocable for the year. Unfortunately, the fights this afternoon only put on display for them exactly the type of environment we’re trying to teach them is unacceptable and no longer the norm at our school, so I feel like we have some making up to do, but it’s not impossible.

So, no, I still wouldn’t trade my job, but I hope to get to a point soon where I am not drinking my weight in wine at 6pm.

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