Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What am I doing?

It’s my second day as a teacher and I honestly think I might lose my mind. There is no logic to these children. This is how people become schizophrenic you take away all logical outcomes so they never know what to expect (or at least this is what Becka tells me they found when they did it to rats).

I think the best way to describe my first day is rough. That’s it, rough. I cried the second my last student walked out of my first hour. There are so many of them! And they all want my attention all the time, that is when they’re not completely ignoring me and breaking the rules. I thought I was a multi-tasker and then I walked into a classroom of 30 8th graders and I realized I most certainly was not. I feel like I should find every teacher I ever had and thank them for not losing their mind. My first hour wasn’t horrible, but it just didn’t go the way I thought it would. I calmed down and the minute I walked into the CS room everyone else was talking about how well their first hour went and the tears were back again. I’m not a huge crier, why is my body betraying me like this? Dang it.

I’m not sure there is anything more humbling than knowing that for at least for 10 minutes you were absolutely terrified of a 13-year-old. There is a girl in my first hour who is openly defiant and makes it very clear she does not like me. I am scared of her. I am 22 and she is 13 and I am scared of her. I hope that someone reminds me of this the next time I start thinking highly of myself in any fashion. It is quite the reality check.

On top of having no classroom control, no sleep and no clue, my kids writing scores are… in a word. Bad. They’re scored on a four point rubric and most of them are making 1’s and 2’s. Both class averages are just under the 2 range. It breaks my heart. These kids are writing at an unbelievably low level and they’ve just been allowed to pass with this kind of skill. I mean really. It’s unbelievable that there are children who can reach 8th grade and test like this. Where have their educators been? Who has been taking responsibility for them? It all just makes me so mad. I can’t fix that, but I can fix some of the simple spelling, grammar and formatting errors I see in their work. Man it is going to be a long four weeks. Very long.

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