Be Careful What You Wish For OR A Cure for Blogger's Block

Some of my friends have commented on this year's slow trickle of blogging compared to last year's daily deluge of digital despair. My response has usually been," I guess I just don't have as many stories to tell." Although I find myself continually excited and amazed by what's taking place in my class this year, this statement is essentially true. Whereas last year the blog provided a necessary release, this year I think my blogs would take on too much of a repetitive self-congratulatory tone, because my days have been relatively uneventful and easy. Except for today.

Sigh. I haven't felt this exhausted in a long, long time. The cause of this exhaustion is the third (see here to meet Verbal, and here to meet Maverick) of my 25 students, Lil Miss Meltdown. I've discussed Lil Miss Meltdown in an earlier post. Since then however, I felt I was making strides with her. Everyone had commented how much her behavior had improved this year and I myself was surprised that I hadn't had more issues with her based on her reputation.

As so happens with "problem" kids, today we were back to square one. And it was so inexplicable. Whereas I pinpointed the cause of her first meltdown as a confrontational tone I took with her. It clearly didn't work and she just shut down completely. This time I tried to kill her with kindness and did everything I could to present her with choices and express positive reinforcement and compassion.

In return, she did everything she could to push my buttons. It was clear she was looking for an outburst from me and it took everything in my power not to indulge her. It was definitely tempting to just give in and yell, even if I knew it wouldn't help things. Nothing else was working, so at least I could make myself feel better by yelling, right?

I guess I could chalk up my restraint as a small victory. Another lesson learned from last year, successfully applied to this one. But in the end I still felt just as exhausted as any of my worst confrontations or struggles from last year's class. So it's hard to feel to excited about this so-called progress. Hopefully Wednesday (students are off for Election Day), Lil Miss Meltdown will come back with a new attitude. Otherwise I'll have to come up with something new myself.


Ryan said…
"daily deluge of digital despair"... who is writing your lines, wiliam safire?
Ruben Brosbe said…
actually, yes. i outsourced this post to bill to get some help while i work out my blogger's block.

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