Saturday, October 13, 2007


there is no other word for what happened yesterday.

if you read comments on kj's blog, you read that i was supposed to have my observation sometime this past week. thursday, he came in and said, i'll be here tomorrow. something came up today. big deal.

that's really what i was thinking. i haven't stressed over it, i wasn't worried, i was confident and just ready to get it over.

1st period, nothing. 2nd period, nothing. 4th period, nothing.

this only leaves 5th, because 7th is my pre-ap and they were going to be gone today.

5th period is by far the worst ever!!

but i was really okay with it. they try to participate...they just get a little out of hand.

so, here he comes, 5th period.

he sits at my desk and i'm joking with him because he's in my way and i need to take attendance.

the kids got a quiz as they walked in the door. they were all sitting QUIETLY working on it.

then came the flood of questions. we're covering fractions. have been for the past week. there are hands up all over the room and people saying, "i don't know how to do this!"

right away, i'm thinking, "great. this shows i'm a great teacher, huh?! these kids have been practicing fractions for a week and have no clue what's going on."

time's up and they turn in their quiz. i decided to do an activity where they use little remotes to relay their answers onto the screen. it was, of course, over fractions.

between every question, they talked excessively. EXCESSIVELY! i couldn't believe how they were acting.

i get more than halfway through class and look at him sitting at my desk.

he says, "do you want me to leave?"

me, not being able to say anything for the tears about to start flowing, shrug my shoulders.

he says, "say yes."


he talks to me for a couple of minutes about how the kids are acting and how i shouldn't put up with it.

i tell him that these kids are not phased by detentions or calls to mom or dad. they don't care if they go to the office.

he said it's because no one has been set as an example.

apparently some girl said something to me that he took as talking back. i don't even know what she said.

i'm so used to those kids in high school who would cuss me out, i'm just happy the kid is still sitting in her chair and not up yelling.

he leaves the room and we still have 20 minutes left in class. i'm trying so hard not to cry.

i calmly tell the students to put up their remotes, get out their paper and work silently!

that's all i could manage to get out.

as soon as the bell rang, i locked my door, sat at my desk, and bawled! i mean, no makeup left for my next class.

he comes back in 7th period to talk to me. again, i'm trying not to cry. my face is as red as a beet. for those who have seen me embarassed, you know what this looks like. there is no hiding it.

he asks if i'm okay and of course, i say yes. he said he understands where i came from and the little discipline support i had there. he's not like that. i shouldn't have to put up with behavior like that.

so, all in all, discipline was an issue.

i'm at a loss.

we haven't even gotten to the teaching part. i don't even want to go there.

that was, by far, the worst teaching experience in my 3-year career.

and i now have to do it all over again.



no_iffer said...

Oh, crys, I am soo sorry. There is nothing worse than this. It just makes you feel like pooh. But, I promise, you are not pooh! He never would have hired you if he did not know you would be great. And I promise that he does not think you are a horrible teacher. He knows there are tough classes and tough kids. He will help you get them under control, not leave you high and dry. He's right. He will back discipline here and you haven't had that before. You're right. I can totally see how you would not think these 7th graders were so bad compared to what you came from.

It's okay to let him see you cry. Really. I have cried several times and he still likes me. Teaching is the hardest job in the world, Period. There is no easy part about it and every one knows it. Crying is necessary.

Bad days happen. They do. Put this one behind you and forget it. I promise he will not hold it against you.

You are a great teacher. I promise. Just take it one day at a time and forget this one. It won't do a lick of good to dwell on it.

And not that I am like a genius or anything, but I have been observed by him twice and I know what he looks for. Call me and I will give you some pointers.

beautiful chaos said...

I am aching for you right now...
I wish I had some words of advice, but I teach at a preschool - all I have to do is turn the lights off or threaten to take playground time away...
If it makes you feel better, when I student taught, the way I resorted to handling behavior issues was to tell them, "If you hate me, act nice because if you're awful while I'm getting evaluated, I'll be here again next semester. If you love me, act nice because you like me and you want me to pass..."
That was a last ditch effort on my part. I know how hard your job is.
I am sorry for how very hard your evaluation was.
Keep your chin up. Might I suggest a "hellfire and brimstone" discussion over behavior with your students on Monday?
you could invite your previous students that are now doing 'time' for testimonials... Yeah.... scare 'em into submission.

Meems said...

I am so very sorry.

I like what no_iffer said about trying to move past the issue. I would have a tendancy to dwell on it, but that won't help anything.

Everyone of us have had horrible days like that. I will be praying for the situation.

no_iffer said...

Okay, I don't know if this would work for them but it has worked for me.

Call every parent of the students that most often act up. Tell them you are having trouble. This is the most time consuming, annoying thing in the world but it enables you to do step two.

On Monday, hold up a stack of referrals. It should be visible that there is already writing on them. Tell your little darlin's that you have called parents and you are done being nice. These referrals are filled out and ready to go. All you have to do is write what they did and send them. Then continue on your rant about how this is school, not a playground and that you are the teacher and you will be respected...blah, blah, blah. Then teach the entire day with those referrals in your hand. If a student talks while you are talking, say, "that's one." and move on. Per the code of conduct a student that disrupts class three times is a disruption to the learning environment and you can send them. Period. YOu can even send them if you haven't talked to a parent. If a student even looks at you the wrong way, send them. I can guarantee you that you have given them enough chances.

Tell Lori this is your plan so she is ready. Or just skip Lori and tell Bill. Or don't tell them. Bill knows.

This may not work, but it sure makes you feel powerful.

ANd remember, your day is great in 4 other class periods. It's them, not you.

CG said...

I feel your pain! During sweeps he walked in 7 minuets before pe and music. It is normally our share time so I threw something in there. That required my ELMO to be on. I started the song and 5 of my students start dancing in front of the projector/Elmo. I turn beat red also. I am going to tell you what I was told. "This too shall pass" I hung my head for the rest of the day and the next till I realized that: "I can do all things throught Christ who strengthens me" and "God is in control" So chin up young lady!

Your principal knows that you are a great teacher.

We should compare our beet red faces. :)

La said...

Jr. High is soooo hard. There's no denying that fact. I'm sorry you had such a rough time. =(

My second job after John and I married was teaching art at The Oaks charter school in Dallas. I taught all grades K5 through 8th. 6th-8th were by far my least favorite. I was in tears many days over them and their bad attitudes and mouthy mouths. I'll never forget one day when one of them said something very inappropriate and wouldn't back down. I gave him referral after referral and it didn't phase him. It made me so mad when I sent him to the principal's office and she only made one referral stick. I'm glad you have a principal who will back you. Just put your tough girl act on. You can do it!