My post from last time still applies. If I reference a child, I am going to make sure that they stay non identifiable. Also, I am going to use imprecise language at times. Be give me some grace.
Besides the first year teaching, “this year” (not actually this year) was my worst year in teaching. I had about 8 students with constant behavior issues. I had students out of their seats all the time, hitting kids on their way back. There was constant talking, chatting, shouting, with a sprinkle of WAY inappropriate language from Primary students. So inappropriate that I had a hard time communicating what was said-I found it difficult to even repeat the words.
I have had pretty decent classroom management skills through the years but nothing was working. Like Nothing. And like any good teacher, I wavered between what is wrong with these students to what is wrong with me. There was very little middle ground.
I was in a rut. I could not get out. I started looking for ways to take days off. To give you reference, O never took days off. Even when I was sick. Even when my first daughter was born, I only took a couple days off because I was afraid of getting fired.
But that is a whole other story.
I actually took a couple sick days because I did not want to go to my class. Many nights I would go to bed thinking about the awful day I had. Many days I would drive to school with a sick feeling of dread not knowing what the day would bring. I was hoping that one or two kids were going to be absent. When they were late, there was a ray of hope that they were out that day. And a visceral reaction of, “oh crap” when I saw them walk up.
This was not my best moment. This was not my best year. Did I mention this was my worst year in a long time? Somehow, I was failing big time. I did not like my job. I did not like the kids. I hardly knew my sweet compliant kids, because I had no emotional energy to even acknowledge them because the bad behavior was so constant.
It was affecting my attitude, my home life. I, in effect, neglected my family because I was constantly talking about how crappy the day was. There was a sort of light at the end of the tunnel, but it often felt like an oncoming train. Part of this was avoidable; some of it wasn’t. I was in a real downward spiral, and it wasn’t even over yet.
This is the post I had thought about when I first thought of writing about failure, because, in so many areas of my life, I was. It has actually been an interesting series for me; all because I knew this part of the story was so hard to tell.
My coworkers were sick of hearing it, my wife certainly was, and I was certainly done. There is more, but it will have to wait.
Until next time,