A Matter of Perspective

With a little help from my uncle who told me, "You do not seem to be having enough fun with all this," I realized I might be dwelling too much on my challenges and downturns. But to be fair, for now the ratio is heavily in favor of those experiences. Still, if I am going to not just survive, but succeed at this job I need to keep my perspective positive.

I've tried in a couple of ways to make a couple of adjustments towards this end. It starts by just reminding myself why I'm doing this at all. Going to school Friday, dreading it, I stopped myself and said, "Think about these kids. Think about what they're up against. What the f*** are you complaining about?" Maybe not the absolute most positive way to get my head straight, but it was a start.

Secondly, as important as it is for me to reflect on what goes wrong in my classroom I'm trying to single out the successes, few and minor as they might be at this point, and my strengths. For example, I'm happy with the way the Read Aloud, Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox is going. The kids seem to like the book and I'm happy with my choice to read it. Overall I think reading and writing are strong areas for me. My calmness (while being severely tested) also seems like an asset.

Today was an okay day. Control felt fragile at times. My main problem child is beginning to test things further and further to the point that today he was actually pushing up against me, perhaps trying to incite some sort of physical reaction. In the afternoon his partner in crime vomited all over the classroom and the custodians didn't come by to clean up until after the kids were dismissed. The fact that I still managed to teach a lesson on constructing circles using compasses with the scent of vomit wafting through the class feels like an accomplishment. Not a phrase I thought I'd ever write, but definitely proves I was right when I was deciding to do Teaching Fellows over a paralegal job and I thought, "At least with teaching I know it'll never be boring."


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