A bad teaching day

This was me today.  Well, sort of.  I don't have incredible hair or $1000 shoes.  But what I did seem to have was an unending stream of frustrations that led me to a less-than-stellar day of teaching.

Everyone has bad days at work.  Doctors, lawyers, fast food workers, everyone.  Entire literary and comedy careers have been built upon the simple concept of a really bad day.

(this by the way, was also me)

My day was no worse than anyone else's bad day.  Ironically, my husband also had a pretty rough go of it today.  Some parents complained about a new teaching method he was trying out & rather than allow him to explain, his administration told him that it was probably just better to go back to the old way.  He hadn't done anything remotely wrong, he just wanted to try something different.

I, on the other hand, had one of those days.  It started too early because of a scheduled before-school training, which I never like.  I tutor at UNLV on Thursday nights, so Fridays can be kind of rough.  I generally schedule quizzes and such on Friday because I'm often tired.  Kids tend to be a little stir-crazy on Fridays anyway, so a quiz will kind of force them to focus all of their energy on their work.  But, today started extra early.  I was at work almost an hour before I'm typically there.  I didn't realize I was out of gas, so I didn't get a chance to stop for coffee.

As you can see, it already started poorly.  My administrator was out with a family emergency, so he'd asked me the day before if I would come in a few minutes early to make sure the training lab was set up for everyone.  No problem.  I got to work (without coffee), set up the training and was ready to go.

Since some of my co-workers were less-than-excited to be at a  before-school meeting... especially since the administrator wasn't there.  While the training itself was useful and something that me and most of my co-workers could put into use almost immediately, but many people had the traditional reaction to staff development... 

Since our principal was not there, I got the brunt of the complaints - even though the complaints were well above my pay grade and largely just some generic bitching.  I told people over and over that they should give specific feedback to the principal, but it didn't make a difference.  It's really frustrating.  I take on a lot of responsibilities that are pseudo-administrative, but I don't have the administrative authority to a) solve problems or b) tell people to shut up and stop bitching.  If I had even one of those powers, my life would be a lot easier.

Then - school started.  Remember -- all of this nonsense happened before school even started.  School itself wasn't terrible; a friend with first period prep brought me a cup of coffee, for which I was incredibly grateful.  

I then slugged though 5 incredibly tedious periods of stir-crazy students.  Kids were grumpy, which made me grumpy.  I tried to keep a positive attitude, but that fell by the wayside somewhere around third period when I had to send a kid to the office for not shutting up -- ever.  I had redirected him for the 10th time today, which is the 10th day in a row I've had to redirect his behavior.  That means I've redirected him over 100 times in the past 2 weeks.  I moved his seat, I called his mom, I kept him after class to have a one-on-one chat about his behavior.  

So today, I was at the end of my rope.  I didn't yell.  I gave him a warning - "If you disrupt class again, I will send you to the office."  Big surprise, he disrupted class again 12 seconds later.  I sent him to the office.  He then proceeded to throw a fit about how he deserved a second chance and how I was a horrible person for not giving him said second chance.  Seriously.  That happened.

I mercifully made it through the rest of the day & came home the second I was allowed to leave.  

I should have spent the evening working on my law paper.  I did not.  I watched TV, baked muffins and ate a gloriously delicious steak.  It's 9:30pm and I'm actually wondering how I'm still awake.

Now that I have all of this off my chest, I can pretend that school doesn't exist for the rest of the weekend.  Law school exists.  If I ignore that, terrible things will happen... but I can pretend I'm not a teacher for the next 48 hours.

Monday, will be another story.


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