It happened. The sun finally appeared yesterday after too many days of rain. "Summeritis" hit the school like a tidal wave, and kids began to taste vacation like an ice cream cone on a hot day. They became stir-crazy. However, we have 2 more weeks of school and every educator's nightmare turned into a Tim Burton movie.
Yesterday my students caught the urge and the rules that had firmly been in place all year, suddenly disappeared like a sand castle at high tide. I found myself becoming "the teacher I didn't want to be." Although I had pulled out my entire bag of tricks, more movement less lecture, fun and engaging lesson plans, enthusiasm and the can do attitude, I found myself sternly speaking to my kids all day. By 1:30, my last class which was 6-8th grade, I was worn, exhausted, and impatient. I was not my best. Despite verbal cues and warnings, the kids didn't get it and it happened; the draconian lecture. Once again, I became the educator I didn't want to be.
I always tell kids, you create the teacher I am. We can work together and have fun and learn, or we can be polar opposites and I become cranky. Yesterday, I was cranky. ALL. DAY. LONG. This almost never happens as boundaries, expectations, and values are set from day one. I came home feeling defeated. In other occupations, having a bad day is acceptable; when you work with kids, it leaves an impact. My bad days are far and few between and I work hard for that to be the norm.
2:00am I sat in bed wondering what had gone wrong. Not only did I reflect on student actions, I reflected on my own and came to the conclusion that I am better than that and so are they. I walked into school today saying this to myself and proceeded to sit down and have an honest and open conversation with my students. This included my 2nd grade as well as my 7th and 8th. I explained we are better than yesterday and shared my feelings and thoughts. I was met with. "But we deserved it, you were right, we were messing around and we are sorry."
We talked; that was it. They heard that, I too, struggle with the end of the year. I, too, can't wait for vacation but have obligations I need to meet before they go. I, too, want to end on a happy note and miss them and not dread coming back. We shared some commonalities and that made all the difference. Today was a good day and tomorrow will be better because together we are better than that!
The Noisy Librarian