Tuesday, May 20, 2008

there are days

...when I seriously doubt my choice of becoming a teacher.

Today is one of those days.

I fantasize about going back to college to get another degree. Perhaps in art. Maybe to be a flamenco dancer. I could be good at that. Bring on the feathers.

I'm so grouchy that the mere noise of  the happy-go-lucky childhood of my own children is grating on my nerves today.

And all because I question my job choice.

I've got the strangest bunch of students this year. HALF of them do not read at grade level (they read below grade level ~ not above). Three-quarters of them are missing the common sense gene. It takes several of them many agonizing minutes to find page 219. Most of them seem to suffer from either severe memory loss or I-don't-give-a-shit syndrome. When beginning a lesson, good teachers review something from the day before, the week before, or even reaching as far back as the year before for the easiest of concepts. Every time I am stupid enough to do this, they all look at me like I have three heads and are wondering just what to do with me. And I am very patient. I wait. Blank stares. I wait some more. I wait for the light to come on in their empty little heads. I sigh a little and sit on my stool. I wait. The bulb has burned out. Maybe there is no bulb.

Here's the thing. I'm totally hard on myself. I'm always trying to improve on my teaching. I'm always my worst critic. I spend hours trying to come up with what's right for the students. Saying that, if I examine the situation carefully, I KNOW I am a good teacher. I KNOW I am better than many. So what's the deal? 

I think I will have to send most of this group on to third grade with a note of apology. I'm sorry I was unsuccessful ~ I tried my best. 

**Do keep in mind that when I rant and rave about my class I never (usually never) speak for the whole bunch. There are a few who care and actually possess a common sense gene as well as some smarts under the hood.

2 comments:

M&M Kanet said...

I was starting to miss being a teacher, but you have brought reality back into my life again. Thank you Andrea for reminding me. I would support you in arranging flowers as a career. And even the flamenco dancer - what color feather would you choose to wear? I hope your day is better today!

Danny & Paulette said...

If it would help, the rest of the family and myself could start critiquing your teaching also. Probably not a good idea, but I hate to see you beat yourself up. Maybe we could beat you up and save you the hassle. Perhaps standing in front of a mirror and practicing your 'teacher' look would help. But seriously, I hope your grumpiness passes and you can get back to being your cheerful self again and flaunt that beautiful smile of yours.