h1

ordinary

October 25, 2007

Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to.
–Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale

So, two days ago, I text my mother, telling her I’m quitting my job (which I’m kidding about) and we talk about how all that goes, and she gives me hints on how to deal, as she is an amazing corporate manager who kicks much accounting ass and I love her. I take the hints with me, sleep hard on my chaotic head, and wake up tired. The next day (being yesterday) was a day full of military vigor. I stood before my class and told them that their past actions would no longer be tolerated. I would no longer wait for them to stop talking before proceeding on, and that only two people would be allowed to go to the bathroom during the class period, and only if they had their hall passes.

Did I mention I teach Junior High?

Today even, after putting my foot down, I noticed a decided increase in the performance level of students, and I haven’t even sent anyone to the office yet. I simply am not putting up with stuff anymore. We’ll see what Monday holds.

I haven’t been around much to mention this, but this is just how the weeks go. I have a good-ish week, full of blah, then I have a bad week full of shit, and a little revision at the end that makes me feel better. It goes up and down and up and down like every other little emotionally and physically tied event in my life. This is how things are.

So why am i so out of sorts with the inconsistency of things? Why does nothing seem ordinary? Every day is an adventure, if you want to call it that, but I’d like a little ho-hum every now and again, you know. Granted, this may take years to get to, and it may make the job completely boring and not worth my effort. In the meantime, I work very hard every second of the day to make it work. Good news is I’m not completely exhausted until after I get out of bed.

I do find a mid-morning nap is good for the mind. Good thing my lunch is at 10am.

I’m developing rapport with the students, which is more than i could have expected, so that could be the wrench in the gears. I sit here thinking the students hate me, but in all actuality, they might actually start respecting me. One of them even slapped hands with me today. I’m cool. Oh yeah. Ungh.

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2 comments

  1. Here’s one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned in dealing with kids (of the student variety or of one’s own): CONSISTENCY is everything.

    Kids (even college aged ones) need to know that the rules are the rules. Having wimpy borders makes everyone nervous, and kids will be more comfortable (and function better) with consistent rules (even ones that they HATE) than they will be in an “easygoing” environment that is ever changing.

    A few semesters ago, I had a student who wasn’t really doing well in my composition class. When I saw a group of kids in the hall from that class (her among them), I asked them how things were going, and this girl said, “You know, I really HATE that you don’t accept late work at all. I mean, I understand why you don’t, but I don’t like it.” This girl came THIS CLOSE to failing the class, but turned herself around at the last minute. She came to me, said she was ready to do what had to be done, and did it. She sought me out for a class two semesters later and is hoping to take my literature class next term. I am, for her, THAT teacher – I stood by my policies and made HER step up, and she recognized her own power in meeting my (admittedly high) expectations. I’m meeting her boyfriend this weekend – she talks about me so much that he’s got to meet me.

    I know it’s hard, and I KNOW it’s tiring (trust me – I KNOW) but I also know, without a second’s hesitation, that it’s worth the effort. You’ll change lives.


  2. *hugs* Never give up hun. 🙂



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