The Good Old Days

Today had a couple of challenges that reminded me of last year. That is, I felt frustrated, exhausted and angry.

"Maverick", my problem child, is generally a good student. His academic skills are very solid, and most of the time he makes and effort. But if he loses focus, he acts out in the worst way. It's often worst at the end of the day, when I'm doing my best to squeeze in one half-decent social studies or science lesson (because of pressures of curriculum and testing this is the only time I have for specific content). Today he was tossing raisins from an earlier math lesson around the room, all the while claiming innocence.

Meanwhile, a needy student of mine from West Africa who I'll dub once a decent nickname comes to mine, totally shut down when I confronted her about wasting time on a reading assessment. She's a sweet girl, but requires a lot of attention and doesn't do well with any sort of strict or harsh discipline. She left her seat and stood by the door silently for a bit and then without saying a word left the room. She curled up in a ball in the hallway and then moved into the stairwell. I coaxed her back into the classroom, but not without totally derailing my lesson on New York's geography.

I know that I can use what I learned last year to solve the problems these students present (and doubtless new ones from the 23 other students). Still, today was a reminder that no year will be perfect or free of challenges. Luckily, just like last year, tomorrow's a new day and a fresh chance to do better.


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