None of these are unusual; I’ve experienced each one more than once over the past five months. But here’s the new one:
Sometime this afternoon, I gave up. I stopped fighting. I stopped trying.
I didn’t have the energy to care. Thank God it was a Friday, because if it wasn’t, there is no way I would be able to wake up and go to school tomorrow.
“What happened?” you may ask.
Well, many things. If it was just one or two of them, I would have been fine. Frustrated or tired, probably, but when it rains, well, it pours, and today it was just hailing cats and dogs.
1. The Winter Recital was today. From an adult’s point of view, it was amazing. There was incredible talent up on that stage, and it was fun to see what the older students have been working on. But to a nine year old, sitting through an hour and a half of performing arts is harder than taking a two-minute bathroom break (which, in case you haven’t been around a classroom, it’s impossible. Literally). I felt like I was babysitting twenty children who had to continuously be asked to quiet down, and every two seconds it seemed like I heard my name, accompanied by, “I need to use the bathroom!” I started to flat-out ignore them, because the alternative was to snap.
2. With the arrival of the Winter Recital meant the departure of my planning period. An hour is already far too short a period to have to myself, away from my class, to prepare. To have absolutely no planning period was beyond difficult.
3. Lunch. I don’t have a lunch period. Teachers go with their classes to the cafeteria. It’s been like this all year, but today, when combined with points 1 and 2, it was hard to not even have five minutes away from my class.
4. Parent Conference. A parent of my new student wanted to meet to discuss his behavior. She works at the school, so as my students were working independently this afternoon, she came by and we talked for about ten minutes. I thought it went fine – she wanted to hear every single thing that was troubling about his behavior, she was respectful, said she would straighten it out, and I said we’d keep working on it in the classroom. That part was fine. Then she asked to speak to her son. Later that afternoon, I caught him passing a note to his friend saying that his mom said he would be transferred to another third grade class. Now, there hasn’t been any talk of this actually happening, but the fact that she wants him out of my room was hard to take.