Kids have a funny way of smacking you down a notch at exactly the moment you begin to think, maybe I can do this! Maybe I have figured this out.
This morning was excellent. If my classroom teacher had walked in at any point this morning, I think she would have been impressed. I felt great going into lunch. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I could actually do this! This was the day I got control! I was excited that my classroom teacher would not come back to a big ugly mess created by me.
Yeah… That didn’t happen. I guess this morning was like the few seconds after you pick up oobleck and it is hard but then it immediately starts running everywhere. That was as how today went, an oobleck day. The illusion of control was shattered with one single event and I spent the rest of the day trying to pick up little peices of glass and cutting my hands all over. That one single event started quite the usual way. We were lined up to go to special. Several students who probably should not have been standing together anyway were making a racket in the back of the line. I stepped to the side of the line and what did I see? Students looking down each other’s pants!
Now, I don’t have any brothers or any male cousins close to my age that I spent time with as a child so this showing yourself off thing is kind of new to me. Girls don’t do that. So I am a little blindsided by this behavior taking place right in the middle of my room. I honestly cannot remember much of what happened until I got the other students to the gym for PE. I know there was a lot of yelling though.
I got to the office and the students immediately started telling the secretary they were not doing it. She yelled at them and I left. I filled out referrals for the first time and wrote notes home about the situation. The problems didn’t end here, though. When the students came back to the room they apologized to me and went to their seats. The rest of the day was just a mess. Part of the problem was definitely that I had pretty much lost all hope that my classroom teacher won’t come back to a disaster that I caused.
After school, I stood in the hall listening to the other teachers talk about their week, contemplating whether or not I could do this and the phone rang. My stomach dropped. This was exactly what I did not need. My fear was confirmed when I picked up the phone and heard an unfamiliar voice. A parent. Please God, no! Yet here I was on the phone with a parent, un- delivered by a power outage or a tunnel suddenly cutting off the signal. She asked me what happened at school. I explained what happened and she asked me if the student was allowed back at school. I don’t know where this came from so I told her I would talk with the office and find out what was going on. I went down and found out that the students received a time out and were talked to about it. I called back and the mother didn’t answer. I wanted to throw up.
I was done. My best friend called me while I was still at school and I told her what happened and sobbed at my classroom teacher’s desk. (This was only the third time I cried at school this week and only the second time today.) The mom called back and I talked to her for a while. I had to keep telling her that I could not make certain decisions without consulting my classroom teacher. I have never felt so stupid in my entire life. I hope I said all of the right things but honestly I was running entirely on instinct not intelligence.
I am so worried that my teacher is going to be disappointed in my inability to get through the week without so many major incidents. I know I shouldn’t be. In my head, I know that I have to have a few years of practice before I am anywhere near as good at this as my classroom teacher is and she cannot rationally expect me to be perfect at this point. My head knows that but my stomach has decided that I should feel sick about not being able to handle things on my own. I just keep replaying the whole thing and wondering what I should have done to prevent this from happening.
I also think I lost some of my credibility with the students because I was definitely more scared than they were. I think the secretary probably could see it on my face that I was about to loose it. I am sure the three students could see it. Yesterday when I stood in the office with the student, I was stone faced. I was able to control the way my fear manifested itself. Today I know I looked pale, my voice got really squeaky, and I was a little shaky (which is always how I sound when I am stressed and can’t get it under control).
I hope Monday and Tuesday are better. My teacher will be around on those days so I would hate for her to see me have no control! I know she knows I am figuring it out but I wish I could tell her things were great. Instead, I have two and a half pages of things I have to tell her that went wrong. The only positive thing on the list is that there is a stack of pictures the kids have drawn for her in her. I am embarrassed that there is such a long list.
At least it can be confirmed that Murphy’s Law is true. If nothing else comes from this experience, I can honestly say, what can go wrong will go wrong… Did go wrong!