I am sitting at home today working on several projects, including planning field trips and donorschoose projects and getting excited for the rest of the school year. However, earlier this week, I was definitely NOT excited!
As we approach mid-September, I feel like I am finally getting in a bit of a groove with my kids at school. There are still definite ripples. Last Tuesday, 9/11 was a super hard day for me and my kids. Although the day has a lot of emotion involved for everyone in America, I am not sure that was the reason it was a bad day. I did start out the day by talking to my kids about what happened. None of them were born in 2001, so it is a little hard for them to comprehend. One of my little bees started laughing when I started talking about airplanes crashing into buildings. This little bee has a traumatic past and lots of issues we are working through. However, I got very frustrated when the other kids started laughing too and sent everybody to their seats.
I guess that's when the day started going downhill. Probably the worst day so far this year (and still doesn't hold a candle to my days in middle school), by the end of the day I had three kids openly wailing. No exaggeration. I ended up calling 5 parents plus 2 grannies. I had 2 parents come to the school. I am not sure what happened. Lots of disrespect, calling out, frustration. I think the frustration was the cause of most of it. I am just seeing more and more how sensitive my bees are this year. I have so many that have such a low threshold for frustration. Two of the outbursts started in writing, and there was one that happened (and continued) in math. The writing issue involved spelling "around" and "sorry" (two separate kids). They just could not sound it on and move on. They wanted me to spell it for them. Oh my word. Frustration, throwing pencils, sobbing, breakdown. The math incident was subtraction greater than 10. Guess what? You can no longer use your fingers alone for 12-8 or 15-7. Total collapse for one of my highest students who refused to try manipulatives or a number line. She was so frustrated that she couldn't solve the problem. My bees are super-volatile and fragile this year. I have had some sad stories in past years, but I think the neediness of this group is pretty overwhelming. It also doesn't help that they are a much bigger class than last year.
The rest of my week was great (esp. after all those parent calls), but it takes a really rough day once in a while to make you appreciate the good ones. This weekend, I stayed in Nashville and didn't head home to be with the family. Although I miss them, it has been WONDERFUL! I have applied for 2 grants and tentatively planned 4 field trips. I have caught up on some awesome education sites/blogs with some fresh ideas for the rest of the year. My kids may not be as well-behaved as my kids from last year, but I will do my best to make sure they learn as much or more as my bees from last year.
Hope you had a great weekend, and yay for cooler weather!