Ebb & flow

This first week back in the proverbial saddle I started off with energy and optimism. I was a lesson-planning, kid-involving, culture-teaching, realia-using, list-making, healthy-snacking, patience-wielding, technology-integrating machine of a teacher… for perhaps a day or two.

Midweek I am feeling defeated already. I lost my classroom keys + laptop key + cabinet keys + 8g flash drive. I’m worn down by frustration and sullen teenagers and barfing first graders and phone calls home and counting to ten a lot before snapping at some poor kiddo (and some kiddos who have it coming). Already I’m furtively pinning hopes on a supposed snowstorm, counting days until the next break. Last night after driving home from my graduate class I almost fell asleep behind the wheel in front of my house, I felt so exhausted. Everything feels really emotional to me right now. I don’t know if it is the exhaustion making me emotional, or the emotions making me exhausted.

We are learning partes del cuerpo in the 5th grade – and yes, teaching any lesson on “body parts” is a little touchy for this grade level. I am having them draw a picture of an animal, a person, or an imaginary creature, and label the parts of the body correctly. I said they could draw whatever they wanted, as long as it included all the necessary labels, and showed “creativity and effort.”

“So, don’t make it look like garbage?” one young man asked, a gleam in his eye. Exactly, I said. Don’t make it look like garbage.

His picture: A garbage can with correctly labeled brazos, pies, dedos, cabeza, boca…

One of the most frustrating parts of spending my days dealing with disrespectful behavior is that I really value the art of creative rebellion, secretly. Sometimes not so secretly. In meetings I often have to clamp my hand over my mouth to try and quell the snarky comments. With my students I’m trying to figure out how to teach respect without crushing creativity.

Thank you, Mr. Anthropomorphic Garbage Can, for reminding me that sometimes these kids can be clever and snarky instead of just annoying.

I am remembering again exactly how hard this job is, and exactly how worth it.


Holiday decorations by los estudiantes: papel picado, and handprint pointsettas

The little ones wrote letters to los tres reyes, who left them some treats in return...

*I feel pretty lost without my digital camera – including probably 100+ pictures from the holidays. Phone camera photos aren’t quite enough to satiate my need for… constant photography? I don’t know.

One Response to Ebb & flow

  1. chelsea says:

    i’m sorry this week was difficult. i may get a new camera, and if i do, you can have mine. it’s not fantastic, but it will get you by. feel better ❤ squash party soon please.

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