Friday, September 3, 2010

The unexpected

Yes, that is a child under her desk. 
I've wanted to blog about this new school year, my kids, the adjustment from self-contained to departmentalized, but I just haven't been able to get myself motivated to write. I have a lot of challenging kids, again. I do not have any on IEPs, that is good, but several of my kids are very low. None of that is a problem. It is the behavior challenges I have been tossed. I know I am good with these difficult, yet so lovable kids, but I am tired. 
 Talking, always talking.
The positive thing is that I get a break from those darlings when they rotate to their other classes. I also get to see how much easier it is to deal with my other four classes. Our homeroom classes rotate as a group so my kids stay together and the other teachers get to see what I have to deal with for 30 minutes in the morning, at lunch, and for 105 minutes in the afternoon. At first they sent me notes, or flat out asked me to deal with the troublemakers. I finally let them know that when they have my class, those kids are theirs and they have to deal with the behavior.
This sweet boy cannot, will not ever stop talking. I do not want him in the hall.
Looking back over last year I think I tried to take too much of the responsibility for my challenging students. This year I am not. I am calling parents every day. I am sending notes and writing emails. One parent is about tired of me, but I will not give up on that kid and I want them involved.
 So, yesterday, when I felt spent, at the end of my rope, feeling like a true failure because I cannot teach the way I would like to, because I have to adjust for behavior, and low motivation, I get this gift. The roses are old, maybe two weeks. They came unwrapped, dry, not cold from a fridge or dripping water. More like they were fished out of the trash. There are just five. Roses don't come in bunches of five. He said "These are for you." He smiled and got to his seat, and started on his spelling. I wanted to cry...


Lyndsey said...

Aww, that is so special and makes it all worth while! Working with kids I feel the same way, you get so down and frustrated and then one will come in your office just to give you a smile and a hug! Yes that's why we do it...we love those kids...every one of them!

Joep said...

Some kids know they are troublesome, and they appreciate you making allowances for their idiosyncracies. All roses come with thorns. Keep seeing the beauty.

Ginger Snaps said...

And just when you think you can't go on, they show you just how much they need you. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

Jessica S. said...

Very touching. I have one girl in my class that is very disrespectful, always has to have the last word (Even if it's "ok"), rude, and has an extreme lack of motivation. I really got on her about her talking in line, I'm sure she was embarassed. That afternoon she gave me a picture she'd colored. Felt like a heel, but not really. Maybe it's sinking in to her?

Joan said...

Farmlady at:

left this wonderful reply...

I rarely cry when I read other posts but this one hit home with me.
The blurred photos of faces, the roses...OMG! This brought back so many memories. For years I worked with high risk teens, community schools, and juvenile facilities. I have so many memories that this post brought back into my heart.
The roses reminded me of a 13 year old boy who brought me a birthday card one day. It had no envelope but it was signed by him and said "You cool. Love,.....". That one card made all their antics and troublemaking worth my job. Later his brother said that he had stolen the card.
Most of their names are gone now but their faces are still there. Some of these children are dead. Some did well.
Try to remember that what you do may be the one thing that means the world to these children. It may be the only affection and understanding they get in their young life.
It's a hard job and I admire you for doing it.

Thank you so much for the reminder.

teachin' said...

That is AWESOME.

Cheeseboy said...

Nice that you do get a break from them. I'd much rather have academic problems than behavior problems to deal with. The behavior affects EVERYONE!

My class this year has been great so far. I've been very lucky.

Intense Guy said...

An IEP is like a "special education" student? Not trying to be "politically incorrect", just not up with the lingo.

So your "difficult children" are... "just" difficult? Those are probably the hardest kind to teach (I was a Boy Scoutmaster of a "challenged" troop for a couple years, so I have some idea of what you kids might involve.)

I'm sad to see you worn down after such a "short time" after school started - I suspect the "difficult children" have far more "difficult parents".

Keep the faith - perhaps you will save a few of these kids. :)

Ninny said...

I will say a special prayer for you. Teaching is one of the toughest jobs ever, right behind street cop. I remember my hardest year, I had 25 first graders, two of whom were emotionally disturbed and not attending special classes. The behavior problems in that one group had me crying every weekend because they deserved to learn and I deserved to teach but nothing was getting accomplished (I felt, anyway.) I wish you a good year. Don't give up, it's the love you get in return when you least expect it that makes it worthwhile.