September 7, 2009

Pause and Regroup

This weekend was a continuation of my emotional rollercoaster, I'm afraid to say. Saturday morning as I glanced through the quizzes I gave the previous day and had my prediction that many had failed confirmed, as I wrote about two entries ago, my frustration began. After blogging, I tried to step away from thinking about school for awhile, and left the house. Unfortunately, school just followed me. Thankfully, Miss R consoled me for a good hour on the phone (I would be a disaster without you, Miss R!), and between her encouragement and a blended frozed green tea & mango cup of heaven from caribou, I was able to calm down and take my mind off things. I even allowed myself to go for a bike ride with a friend and see the outdoors for a change.

Today I am feeling a million times better. I have a plan for math this week, and I have accepted that I have to move on after another day going over this material. I know it will be okay, and I accept that I am doing my best. As I told Miss R, I have a long history of liking to be perfect at things immediately. It's sometimes hard for me to remember that most jobs have a learning curve, and of course, no one is perfect. I am trying to focus on one goal at a time, and tomorrow it will be math. Next week I will tackle reading when I start implementing Daily 5.

My aunt gave me a book this summer that was given to her years back by a student (yes, another teacher in the family, but this one no longer teaches). It's called Chalkdust: Prayer Meditations for Teachers. While I don't usually talk about this kind of thing, and especially not when it comes to teaching, I want to share one of the meditations here:

For the Slow Learner
Oh, Father,
this child is so slow,
and I am so impatient.
We are both trying hard,
and I desperately need to see some success.
If only I could see a little progress--
slow, plodding progress.
But the word he read yesterday
he can't read today.
The math concept he seemed to grasp yesterday
has slipped away today.
And somewhere inside me
Discouragement is moaning, "Give up."
Help me not to listen.
Help me instead to listen for your voice
reminding me of all the good and true things
I've learned about teaching.
Remind me that progress is more a spiral staircase
than a straight flight of steps;
that learning rarely moves at a heartening pace;
it is more likely to dip and double back,
and move on in little spurts of growth.
So help me, Father,
not to give up when we move so slowly
or stand still.
or even seem to slip backwards.
Give to me, and to this child,
the sure and steady faith to keep on trying.
But, Father,
when I grit my teeth and try so hard
that I am overcome with impatience,
let me hear your still, small voice saying,

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