One Day at a Time

Just when I thought things had hit their worst, today proved me wrong (a feeling I'm becoming all too familiar with). It was right after second period today, around 10:16 when my classroom fell apart completely. The "chaos" I described the other day doesn't come close to comparing to what took place today. After making progress yesterday with my new no.1 problem child he decided today he didn't care about the incentive (playing on the basketball team) that I'd offered to him). This meant as far as he was concerned he was free to do whatever he wanted.

Misbehavior spreads like a fire and I was running around just as frantically, trying to squelch it as it broke out in every corner of the classroom. The amount of outright defiance and disrespect on the part of the kids was just overwhelming. There were students getting up out of their seats, talking, yelling, passing notes, throwing paper and erasers... And of course any time one of them was caught in the act: "I wasn't doin' nothin'!" I can handle misbehavior but the back talk and the excuses drive me crazy. When I finally dropped them off for lunch I was shell shocked.

I took one of the main problem students aside - a young black girl as tall as me and going through 4th grade for her second time - and started out slowly and mildly to point out what she was doing wrong. I tried appealing to her ego and asked her if she knew what it meant to be a leader and if she could be a leader, but as she rolled her eyes and avoided my stare I got right in her face and started yelling with all the pent up anger I had. "Can you stop yelling in my face?" she said. "I would, but you don't listen, so I have to get in your face. So listen to what I'm saying and shut your mouth!" At this point I just don't know what I'm doing. I left the cafeteria and sat in my room with my head down for a few minutes. Wondering if I would be able to even finish the day.

Obviously I survived. Things were mildly better after lunch and I'm going back tomorrow. So, I guess we can still chalk things up in the victory column. But honestly, I feel just like an alcoholic - I'm taking things one day at a time and praying for the "serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Comments

Lulu said…
At least you're an alcoholic in recovery as opposed to actively drinking to get through the day....on the other hand, it might help!
Liora

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