Friday, April 3, 2009

my bad mouth

Yesterday my principal flagged me down as i was crossing the yard. It was 1:15. She needed someone to sub for a third fourth combo class at 1:30. Additionally, all my thursday students were on a field trip. She was desperate. So I agreed to do it. The classroom teacher had gotten into an accident, and had not prepared much and I had not eaten lunch. I spent the time going to the bathroom and foraging for food. When I went to the yard to get them, two of my students were in the process of a knockdown drag out fight. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning. During the course of the next two hours I called the office three times, had to physically chase and hunt down a student, got called a racist, tried to do an aborted art project, had my authority questioned numerous times and was pretty thoroughly miserable along with the class.

In the quiet times between disasters, I had a chance to discover most of the kids were really helpful and genuinely likable. I ran into their teacher today. I was expecting her to thank me, instead I was horrified to hear that the class's feelings had been collectively devastated by my sarcasm. I didn't know what to say. Sad to say, when I am upset, I often deal with the situation with the cudgel of snark (its something that I do struggle with and try to curtail). She added that they were especially saddened by the art project we did at the end of the period. At that point I was pretty much ready to quit teaching entirely.

3 comments:

H said...

That sucks. I've had many failed attempts at "conflict resolution" where teachers looked at me like "you, Heather are supposed to know what to do in this situation." When all I can think is, "this kid is out of control!"

I'm sorry this had to happen to you in this situation. I think people feel vulnerable in times of crisis and are too apt to look for a scapegoat. Knowing you as well as I do, I think you probably did the right thing.

Amethyst Violette (a.k.a. Ms. Sofman, the purple music teacher said...

WTH?!?!?! First of all, that teacher should be KISSING your feet (among other things...ahem) and her class needs to be given a plate of reality cookies. Who in the world is SADDENED by an ART project?! Who ARE these people? I'm so sorry this happened to one of the most fantastic teachers I've ever known. Mean people suck.

The Nikkster said...

Brush it off and move forward. You are more worthy of teaching than most.

I've had my share of "bad teacher/classroom" moments when others try to make me feel like I am the one at fault, when in reality it is indeed the students, or administration.

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