Tests. Homework. Projects.
All waiting to be graded.
All waiting to be entered in the grade book.
All waiting.
11 sick kids today- all coming back here and they're all needing homework. Every special lesson plan takes 5-10 minutes from my precious plan time. Every kid that needs a special packet sent home or needs to stop by to get work takes a few extra minutes.
So the tests, the homework, the projects are still sitting and still waiting. The days go so fast and the piles just get bigger.
Aye me.
Taking two precious hours out of this evening at home to get to a few of the piles.


Keeping out the crab

Every year there is one. Or two. Or three.
Those kids that just know how to make me growl and snarl and be a grouch.

Most days I can shrug, I can laugh, I can make it a teachable moment. The times when I find I can only glare and I can feel the hot fire boiling inside of me I know one thing: I. am. tired.
I want to blame that one. Or those two. Or the three talking students in the corner. BUT-
Feeling cranky has become my reality check. The truth remains that, from one day to the next, no student behaves especially better or worse than he or she did the day before. Yesterday Sam made funny noises during my lecture and yesterday Matt had a smart comment every time he raised his hand (but he raised his hand! This is progress!) and yesterday Grace kept talking to anyone near her and yesterday all that was fine.
Today, Sam behaves pretty much the same and today Matt makes comments just like before, and today Grace keeps up the constant chatter, but today it makes me crazy.
So see, after three years of teaching, I finally see. These bad days are all about me. Not the one, not the two, not the three students.
Today I felt too tired to shoot a quick comment back to Matt and today my mind just did not want to take Sam out to the hall to talk quietly and today Grace just made me crabby. The challenge becomes fighting the tired and giving the students the consistency they deserve in my temper and countenance. I have to go on the attack. To bed early tonight. Tomorrow I walk to school (I finally live close enough) and take the extra ten minutes to breath in fresh air and clear my head. I will remember to have some breakfast in the morning. I get my desk organized. I get caught up on grading.
When I am sane, I am happy. When I am happy, I don't snap at my wonderful students. When I don't snap at students the day and the learning and the week go so much nicer.


Ending the Week

Thursdays, I'm exhausted. How can I possibly do one more day? Then Friday starts and whirls by quickly and the weekend arrives. The trick is ending strong and ending happy. Little things make the week end well- a note from a parent with kind words, relaxing with the students and hearing some of their stories, watching a project come together.
Sometimes, the best thing to brighten a day comes as a surprise:flowers, delivered in person by my husband. This job, this life, the profession has plenty of challenges. I love those challenges, but even so, they are easier to face with a partner who supports and loves what I am devoted to. And most of all, a partner who supports ME.