Déjà Vu

Today took me back... one of those days where I felt like I was putting out fires left and right nonstop. We were 20 minutes late getting down for lunch. We were 20 minutes late getting down for dismissal. At the end of the day I just felt aggravated, exhausted and on edge.

Just like back in the fall I was angry, almost entirely at the kids. Why couldn't they just sit down and shut up? It wasn't until I was home and had time to relax and reflect when I started questioning myself. What was I (not) doing to ensure that expectations were clear and appropriate behavior was reinforced.

It's a disheartening experience to go through a day like today. I'm not the only one getting frustrated. A lot of my students end up just as angry and they tend to take it pretty hard. Sometimes they take it out on each other. It's hard to hear one of your favorite students say, "I hate this class," and not know what to say.

But, back to the questions I found myself asking. Did the students know what they were supposed to be doing? If so, did they understand what they were doing? If they didn't understand what to do, did they know what to do then? If they finished early did they have something to keep them busy?

These questions don't address everything that went wrong today. But I know if I can make sure that the answer to all of these questions is a definitive yes it will go a long way towards minimizing a lot of chaos and misbehavior. I also know back in September after a day like today (of which there were many, many) I wouldn't have even known what questions to ask myself. So maybe I can take solace in stepping back, and realizing there's been immense progress.

Comments

Anne said…
Don't be so hard on yourself or your students. Sometimes you just have tough days. We are dealing with lots of personalities on a daily basis. Sometimes the mix is just off, and the more you try to force it, the more chaos happens.

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