November 16, 2009

and we're back

Okay.  I'm hoping to get to bed early tonight, so I'm not going to get into everything that's been going on.  But after last Monday's somewhat bleak posting, I feel I should briefly update.  Monday (last) was a real low point for the year so far.  It was just one of those days where enough things went wrong to make you wanna throw in the towel.  Between a whole new level of behavior problems with my "difficult student," the rest of the class being off-task in general, a really irritating display of unprofessionalism geared at me from a colleague, and my car being keyed in the parking lot one night I was working late, I was about done.  Thankfully, the next day my team stepped in and helped me out enough that I could get things back together.  I've been working hard the last week on reteaching expectations, enforcing rules, and gaining control of my class (minus 1 who I am OUT OF IDEAS for).  In general, it's going well.  Although I never dreamed we'd need assigned carpet seats in 5th grade...but that's besides the point.

Anyways, things are going a little better.  It's still really draining, and I am constantly wishing that this one kid would just get sick and spend a day at home, because he is so exhausting.  Every second I am making choices on how to handle his behavior, and I'm just never sure if I'm doing the right thing.  I spend half my time and energy on trying to keep him in line, or dealing with him when he has a melt-down, a tantrum, or does something crazy...but that's life I guess, or at least teaching.  I'm crossing my fingers that SOMETHING changes and that maybe someday we'll be able to get through a day without any real disasters...wishful thinking...

On another note, I'm in the middle of an expository writing project that some of my students are enjoying as much as I am (I say some, but that's really the best you can hope for in 5th grade!).  We're writing about someone in our life who we think is a hero.  I'm modeling each step of the process and am enjoying writing about my hero as much as I'm enjoying hearing about my students' heroes.  I'm looking forward to seeing the final product, although we are nowhere near that point. 

Tonight I spent the true elementary educator's evening in my kitchen making playdough and doing experiments on "buoyancy."  This I learned:  when you read a lesson plan for a lab on the internet, always always ALWAYS try it at home first.  They're not always as simple as they sound!  Cross your fingers that the few experiments that look like they WILL work actually do tomorrow...

Finally, today was the first day of Battle of the Books meetings.  While part of me knows it was crazy for me to take this on this year, another part of me is so glad I did.  Reading with kids who love reading and are volunteering to take part in this club/competition is so refreshing.  I need something like this back in my life--spending time in small groups with kids who want to learn.  During guided reading, I spend most of my time meeting with my approaching grade level groups and deferring my on and beyond students to my aid and lit coach.  I miss reading with kids who are strong readers and love engaging with texts and having discussions as much as I do.  So, even though the time committment is huge (and I have to read all the books for the battle too...eek), I am confident that the payoff will be well worth it. 

Anyways.  Off to find some fabric scraps in the basement because I promised my future fashion designer student I would bring her some to work into her designs...and then bed.  Bon nuit :)  Let's hope I have no more "I'm going to quit" melt downs anytime soon!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so promising!
    While I don't know much about your problem student, any more than what you've written here, and thus can offer no suggestions...I know who CAN offer suggestions. My source for help for managing campers' behaviour is my mom, a child psychologist. so if you want advice, throw me information about this kid and I can bug my mom. because so far, her approaches seem to work.

    good luck this week!
    once the hellish time of year is over, maybe we'll actually hear from each other by email again!


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