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.