September 20, 2009

highs and lows: made it through another week!

I made it through another week :) And things did get better as the week went on. This will just be a brief recap because it's after midnight (I can hardly remember the days when I used to stay up until 4 or 5...), and I'm getting sick. Thanks, kids. Thanks.

Anyways. Monday was a tough day. One of my challenging students gave me hell all morning and then when I kept him in at lunch to discuss, snapped at me and really just pissed me off. During lunch I almost cried and seriously didn't want to go back to my classroom. Then, the kids were crazy chatty and that was about the last straw. Thankfully, Mrs. J helped me come up with a new seating arrangement, a new motivating behavior plan, and a new perspective. My kids now have table names (peace in different languages--the goal is a "peaceful classroom," but we'll start with that!) and earn table points. So far it is highly motivating. Let's hope it lasts! Miss R (school miss r, not iwu) and I enjoyed some much needed margaritas and chips at our friendly neighborhood Chili's and vented about school and the kids for a good hour and a half after we finally left the building. As much as I hate complainers, I'm realizing how absolutely necessary it is to just vent once in a while with someone who truly understands what you are going through. I swear, if I didn't have another first year teacher in the building who is feeling just as lost as me most of the time, I would lose it.

Well, Tuesday I came in with high hopes and high expectations. Thankfully, the new system helped, and we proceeded to have a great rest of the week. The fish didn't die, I didn't have pink eye afterall, and I made it through with no more tears. Just the regular old stress, perfectionism, and emotionalness that this teaching thing makes me feel! I even survived curriculum night! Thank goodness my school decided to shake things up this year and turn curriculum night into a student-led scavenger hunt through the classroom and building rather than a teacher presentation that so often turns into a parent interrogation. The night was fun and the parents were nice. Phew!
Some highs and lows from the week:

-a curriculum night that actually turned out to be a lot of fun
-surviving Friday's "soft lockdown" (thanks, escaped prisoner who hijacked a car on the street next door to my school!) with no significant problems
-the fish NOT dying!!! (note to self: model, model, model the correct procedures for feeding the fish...)
-having the kids love the new book bins that we set up for them this week and seeing how excited they were to discover new books
-some of the kids actually doing really well on their math tests yesterday--no tears while grading! yay!
-finally making it down to the teachers lounge for lunch a couple days this week
-having my student show me the correct way to "finger skateboard" (see right) and having the kids cheer when I correctly executed a "trick"
-grading some really beautiful letters in reading response journals today about my students' "something beautiful"
-Introducing Daily 5 read to self and having it go AMAZINGLY (to be blogged about soon!)
-dancing the Cupid Shuffle with the class--best "stretch break" ever.


-Monday (and almost everything about it)
-writing up one of my kids for the third time
-feeling about one step behind everyone on my team all the freaking time
-getting to school at 5:45 one morning last week, and still be scrambling at the bell to have my act together
-leaving school Wednesday and Thursday right away to go do autism therapy/babysit, and coming BACK to school after, not to leave again until 8pm...
-getting this cold...

Let's hope next week is even less stressful...*fingers crossed*

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