9.27.2007

second thoughts?

The end of the school day today couldn't come quick enough. As I sat with my 1st period class editing paragraphs, I momentarily thought to myself, "I can do this." Just a short 4 hours later, my last thought as I left the campus was, "What did I get myself into?" I loved, loved, loved teaching 3rd grade. Even after the suckiest of sucky days, I looked forward to the next day knowing it would be a fresh day. If I'm being honest, I'm not looking forward to Monday when I see my kids again (our school is on a block schedule so the students go to odd periods one day and even the next day). It's not that they are naughty, well one is pretty naughty, but whose to say it's not his Ritalin medication that's worn off by the time he gets to me in the afternoon? It's that I am not sure if I'm cut out to work with special needs students. I feel I'm having to compromise my philosophy of having high expectations with some of these students. I'm not ready to become a grumpy 'ole teacher with low standards. I'm really hoping I just have to "modify" my standards to fit within each student's abilities. Sounds easier than actually implemented though, as each student has such difference abilities with various capacities.

Thank freakin' goodness for Mimi! She answered her phone when I was at the brink of tears. I was literally paralyzed after school. All I could think about was either going home to sleep or having a quick cocktail...and it was 4:30pm! She was home and ready to listen (with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers). As a teacher, she was totally able to provide me with some great insight on the kids and their subsequent behavior after lunch and advice on how to best handle my situation. While I am still not completely convinced that special education is for me, I haven't completely lost my desire to become a great teacher. Perhaps the purpose for me at this moment is to offer my students a nurturing classroom environment where they can experience small successes in school. This will become my personal goal, for the moment anyway. Thank you, Mimi! Had we not met, I may have eaten all 35 extra weekly points because of my terrible school day!

Tomorrow after school, I'm heading to the nearest salon for a mani/pedi...

{picture provided by this Flickr}

10 comments:

WeezerMonkey said...

Oh, boo! But thank goodness for Mimi! It's amazing how great a mani/pedi can make you feel. I hope you enjoy yours. :)

dapotato said...

aww. i'm glad you seem to have a great support system of friends and family. it definitely helps to have that friend who has the same job as you but doesn't work with you.

[i think we just may be neighbors!]

amber said...

ah, hang in there alyssa. both of my besties are teachers; K teaches 4th grade and J teaches special ed. J started in the middle of the year and OMG, she had a terrible struggle those first few months. i guess she was on the phone to K every other day in tears. i think what she did have to learn was (like you alluded to) to modify expectations of her students. and at the same time, expect a level of respect in the classroom that she didn't get right away.

sounds like mimi is a wonderful sounding board and will help you navigate these next few weeks while you're figuring out what your boundaries are and what you expect from you students. hang in there dear, and know that you'll be in my thoughts/prayers. i'm going to let K and J know too, and they'll do the same :) {{hugs}}

Kay said...

yeah, hang in there...everyone needs a mimi around =)

Jolene said...

Hany in there friend! Thank goodness for Mimi in your life. You ARE meant to be an amazing teacher...just stick to it. Keep us posted. Lots of love...

R said...

Alyssa, I think it's great that you're so vested in being an awesome teacher that you actually care about this kind of stuff. It sucks to feel like that though and I wish it were going easier for you. I'm sure there's an adjustment period to teaching special needs kids and you have e-supporters in your corner. ;) Hang in there!

emily said...

hey! i can't believe you didn't leave me a message yesterday and i didn't see this post until today. i'd love to share some of my {take it or leave it} insight to your situation! call me this weekend! have a good mani-pedi!

R said...

Hey, I tagged you! Check out my blog for info. :)

Enjoy Celebrations and Occasions said...

A little wine always makes bad days feel better. You know I'm always here to listen! That's what sisters (in law) are for! Monday can only be better, right?! Enjoy the spa treatment, it always makes me feel better. :)

Trisha said...

Hang in there! I know I'm 100 years late on this, but your post resonated with me as a fellow teacher. I don't teach special needs kids per se, but our school population certainly is super needy. I don't know how long you've been teaching, but it does get better. I was stressed my first two years, but I think that I'm in a much better place now. . . hopefully the same will be true for you. Good luck!