SOL 28 March 2017

Bottling anger is bad for your health and can even shorten your life expectancy. Getting out your anger can even extend your life by a good two years. I recently watched a video that had this information (Intelligence for Your Life podcast). Sooo, since I like living in general, there is something I have to get off my chest.

I have a couple of students who, with all the skill and cunning of a cat burglar, have crept under my skin and currently and almost daily but definitely weekly irritate some of my more sensitive nerves. Juniors that have more apathy towards life in general and school in particular seem to congregate in my fourth block class. My school has a technical program that runs adjacent to the main school. The teachers there do not teach fourth block, so those students who are more apt to go straight into the workforce take their core classes at the end of the day. Hence my fourth block class consisting of twenty-one boys and three girls. Don’t rag on me for stereotyping. It’s been consistently this way for about eight years now.

Most of my students try. Those who don’t get the talking to about consequences. Some are fine with repeating eleventh grade English again. Some have time on their side and are simply waiting for their age to meet the law’s requirement for dropping out. Regardless of the path each student chooses, I will help each one whenever they decide they want it even at the last second. But there are some students that would try Saint Teresa’s patience and drive the Dalai Lama to drink. Some students that deserve a t-shirt made in their honor. “I survived teaching” and then the student’s picture. I think I’ve come up with a plausible side business.

Have you ever been glad someone didn’t show up for work because it meant your day would go smoother? The lack of a certain individual’s presence can be like the sun breaking through the stormy clouds and what once looked like a torrential down pour heading your way will now be picnic weather. The kind worthy of skipping through a field of daisies if any daisy fields were handy.

I have found myself time and time again searching the attendance email for certain names. When those names appear, I’m grateful. When they are lacking, dread settles in the pit of my stomach. What fresh new hell shall I weather today? Or will it be a repeat, a goody but oldy annoyance that I’ll be enduring today?

Most of all though, I sometimes get really tired, I mean down to the marrow of my bones exhausted, of being an adult. Being a professional. Taking the high road when dealing with certain kids. Treating them as respectfully as I can without coming off as phony when sometimes they don’t deserve a drop, a speck, a molecule of it. I do the mantra that they’re children, but it’s a hard pill to swallow when I’m dealing with young adults barely a year away from entering the real world.

Okay, I feel a bit better. Try though they might, I shall not allow these kids to drive me to an early grave. Early retirement on the other hand is very doable.

 

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2 thoughts on “SOL 28 March 2017

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  1. Ah, Merlinette, I sympathize with you. Your writing, on the other hand.. is something to envy. Very funny. 🙂

    As a suggestion — and this is just between us professionals, right? If the kids aren’t “there to learn,” why not just do what you want to do? Teach the way you want to teach. Like — throw a party with a few “Standards” games in there (like Jenga or Twister with the standards taped on them).

    Do something outrageous to get these kids off their “I have adult parts” high horse and remind them that they’re kids who are curious, want intellectual stimulii, are interested in something beyond their big hands and big feet..

    One day, I had this realization that my kids are learning without me holding their hand every second of the period. They learn once they leave my class, they learn when they’ve left school. It’s not about me and what comes out of my mouth, nor even the perfection of the lesson.. which is usually culled from the mind of some other brilliant teacher. So, I decided to teach the way that would make me happy — what felt authentic and real to me so that I could respect myself and my profession. Why not give myself that chance to be a happy teacher? Especially if I reasoned kids WILL learn somehow. They really will — they look for it (knowledge).

    Long story longer — when I began to teach authentically, the kids kinda woke up and the rest is history…

    ..which happens to be this: (short story, I swear) This year = hell. Just bad year, but it wasn’t the kids. Life and whatnot. Then I began to write and bring my old form of teaching into the classroom (the one I just described). The day after I did this, the kids were looking like, “Where have you been all year? Do we know you?” Something happened because I got in touch with my authentic teaching self (about 1 month ago).. and where I’d say I could have written off the year (“Yeah.. I remember “that group” of kids!”), it turned around in a matter of weeks.

    Just a thought.

    Your honest blog provoked thought in me and I thought I’d share.. sorry it’s so long! Guess I”ve written my Slice for tomorrow! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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