I am so stressed. Thankfully, we had election day “off”, but I spent the entire day working on my massive backlog of unfinished business, and it feels like I haven’t made a dent. I must say, it’s pretty demoralizing that I can work really hard most of the time, and occasionally, work literally non-stop, and yet still never be on schedule. No lie, I could probably take a full week off teaching and still not be caught up. It’s like swimming upstream.
In other news, it’s time to rethink my approach to misbehavior. I originally thought the root of my problem was my approach to misbehaving students. But now, I think I’ve reached a point where I am fairly consistent and assertive in confronting misbehavior in my classroom, and still I have classes that get out of control. It’s time to bring in the big guns. I haven’t been proactive enough in calling parents and issuing referrals. The disrespect I put up with is pretty ridiculous, and up until now, I’ve taken it too lightly and taken too much of the enforcement aspect on myself. The fact is, I simply don’t have the time and resources to keep up with numerous detentions and phone calls each day. Once I’ve exhausted the consequences I can issue in class, parents need to regulate their children, and if they can’t/won’t/don’t, then it’s up to the administration. Because ultimately, I need to be able to teach class, and in a couple of my classes, it’s just not happening and it’s hurting all students. The bad part is that now, some of my more compliant students have really started following the example set by my defiant students and have started testing the boundaries. It’s really gotten out of hand. Partly because of behavior, I’m more than 3 weeks behind schedule, and I’m still pushing things back.
I feel stressed and occasionally pessimistic, but for the first time in a while, I think I’m actually ahead of the general mood in the corps, and that’s probably not a good thing overall. Things are pretty bleak. Although my administration can be somewhat oppressive, what with their unrealistic expectations of me, they are highly effective, and I’m blessed for that. Not everyone is so lucky. And I don’t mean to dog anyone, it’s just that being an administrator–let alone an effective one–in this environment is an extraordinary task, and there just aren’t enough superhumans for every school to get their own set.