Monday, March 12, 2007

It's 3 a.m.

I have sufficiently become addicted to coffee since I became a teacher. It just came with the territory for me. Unfortunately, I'm not superhuman. I can't do it all. I can't teach and plan and grade and pretend to have a social life without a little assistance. My assistance is caffeine and it come steaming hot out of my classroom coffee pot every school day.

When I go on vacation so does my coffee addiction. Then come the headaches. I made it two days before I started hurting for caffeine. Usually I try to nurse myself off the coffee while on break, but when the headache hit today I just gave in. I was having a great day and I wanted to bake and clean and none of that would happen without coffee. I had a cup at 9 p.m. Now it's 3 a.m. and here we are in blog land.

Some days I wish I was superhuman.

Today my pastor was talking about his kids whining (and the Israelites, but his point about the kids is better for this example since the Israelites die) and it made me start thinking about my students. He said that you know what you should do when they start to whine is sit and talk with them rationally to solve the problem, but what you end up doing is saying "you have to stop doing that, just stop whining..." and then they keep whining. They keep whining because you're not solving their problem, you're just being annoying back to them. I never thought about that.

I'll admit, I needed this break. I've been worn out. My kids are worn out. And we've got a lot to get done before their next big test. So I needed a weekend where I could not do work and stay up late and not feel like I was ruining the future of 68 small children. Now that I'm awake at 3 a.m. with no end in sight, I'm kind of wishing I hadn't purposefully left all of my planning material at school. That phrase my pastor said keeps sticking in my head. "That's what we should tell them, but it's never what we say."

Why don't I think of these things? Why do I watch my grip on my classroom slip away and not just think "maybe your response is just making it worse."? Now I'm a bit more motivated to find a better solution for the disruptions that have been finding their way into my classroom. I'm more motivated to figure out what the heck to do with Tony and Isabel and Deundre and Saul.

Of course tomorrow when I'm up at school to finish up some work my caffeine high will have worn off and I'll be exhausted, but I'm going to remember my pastor's parable. God killed some of the whining Israelites, but we don't kill the children. We find a better way to get the message to them.

I need to find a better way. And stop drinking coffee at 9 p.m.

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