Smacked down

Today was probably my worst day of school so far. I have let my homeroom get out of hand, and it’s gotten to the point where my instructions to them are pretty much ineffective. My issues with management pretty much blew all of my “reinvention” out of the water. A few people in the class won’t shut up, and it’s pretty much impossible to do anything over the constant chatter. I don’t try.

About half of everyone else is frustrated because it ends up with the class operating at about 10% productivity, and their bored to death. However, I haven’t been able to impress upon some of the frustrated ones that I need for them to step up and be on task. Instead they use it as a license to whine or join the problem. The worst part are the quiet, serious things that go unaddressed because I’m distracted by the noise.

My professional responsibilities–which definitely merit an entry of their own at some point–have also been weighing me down. All the meetings and all the discussions serve important purposes, but they also eat deeply into my time, which is my most precious commodity right now. And I’m definitely falling short of meeting my professional commitments as well as I needed to be. I almost melted down in a team meeting that severely cut short my preparation time for my lesson.

Then my lesson blew up. I spent all day yesterday designing a new lesson format, only to have it crash and burn due to a combination of the aforementioned management problems and my failure to adequately prepare the details of the lesson. By lunch, I was pretty much shell-shocked. I didn’t have the will to eat my meal, and spent most of my 35 minute lunch (already abbreviated due to my out-of-control math hour) recovering my sanity.

Just to add icing to the cake, our school police officer issued me a ticket for my expired registration.

The afternoon went slightly better though. After the train-wreck of first math hour, I tabled the lesson for my second class. Only one out of about 8 kids showed up for detention, so I had to make some calls home, which went well. I’m definitely going to need to lean on the parental support lever to turn this thing around.

Days like these, make me question my competence in general. Millions of teachers are out there doing well, and I just can’t seem to get the hang of any of it. I often feel like what little I am doing right is like a house of cards that might just collapse at any moment. I can think of a million things I could be doing with far less stress and far more success. But I’ll never quit, because that would make me the biggest hypocrite ever. How can I ask my kids to do things they think they suck at, and then walk away myself? I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror. So I don’t care how bad it gets, I gotta figure out how to make it work.

As of right now, lessons are secondary, because I can’t deliver a lesson until I can recover control of my room.

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