About two weeks ago I had to delete my blog page and build another due to techy stuff I wasn't quite smart enough to figure out. It made me very sad as I started that blog the beginning of last year. Let me tell you, last year was H-E-A-V-E-N. The best class I had ever had. All but for "that one kid." But even now I see him in the hallway and think, "What I wouldn't give to have him back." I see my kids from last year and sigh and wish... which may be why that stupid problem happened that made me get rid of my hardwork. Maybe it was a way of the Good Lord saying, "I'm so sorry, but these aren't the same kids. You can't go back. You have to see and handle something new." I really don't want to hear that, though. I want to hear, "Hey, I'm going to miraculously change these kids into clones of last year!" Yeah... the truth is, I've had a dose of reality this year. I'm having the "What your professors didn't prepare you for." year. Here I am, five years into this thing called teaching and WHAM I'm given the wake-up call of a lifetime. I've pulled out every trick in the book. And while I can say it's working, I have to say it's also SO DANG HARD. SO HARD. It breaks my heart to see little people I care about so much and want so badly to succeed just throw all my best efforts out the window.
This week, being Halloween and all, I have tried to plan things that are fun. I love getting to carve a pumpkin with my class and I look forward to doing it every year. Well, today was the day. I had every expectation that it would be just as awesome and fun as it is every year. Nope. As I was carving out that little triangular nose on that smiling orange face, all I wanted to do was stab myself right in the eyeball. Fighting, crying, selfishness, I CAN'T SEE!'s, you name it. I was so disappointed. Teaching isn't supposed to be like that.
At recess, I saw a fellow teacher that was my saving grace my first year. I still love her for all her help and guidance that first year. This year, she recognizes half my class and knows what I'm going through... she had them last year.
"You can't let it get to you. Sometimes, you have a year like this and just have to survive until it's over. It makes you sad, it makes you doubt yourself, it makes you hate coming to work. BUT you still have be a teacher to them and if you can't do the "fun stuff" then you can't. Just remind yourself there's next year. And, yes, next year might be bad, too, but it won't always be bad. Don't be so hard on yourself when you know YOU are not the one causing the year to be less than what you wanted." Those are tough words to swallow, though. You have such high expectations at the beginning of the year. You are excited and on fire. Then, come kids with water balloons of behavior problems to pummel you with and extinguish it all. I still love teaching. I still love my babies, but I hate having to fake it 'til I make it almost everyday. But if that's what it takes to teach them and for me to not go insane, well, that's what's going to have to happen.
In the mean time, I'm going to keep my head up and hope for a better day tomorrow. It can only get better!