Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sometimes The Up's Out Number The Downs...

But not today! (Or in Nottingham, if you are Robin Hood).
I think I may be back on the road to having pneumonia again. I can't tell if it is allergies and exercise or sick. Either way I want it to go away.

Today at school was so frustrating. You would think that at this point in the school year (Day 146 of 180) that my class would be able to function without being told every little thing they need to do. But, alas, that simply isn't the case. I think it begins to wear on me at this point. You can only be patient so many times and then it just become irritating. In fact, I had two students today that I usually have to baby along that I simply told them at the beginning of the day that I refused to baby them and that if they wanted to slack off, to go for it. I did my absolute best to ignore them and their behavior today. The finny thing was that one of them actually worked better today than they had in the past. This event, and others in the recent past, have lead me to believe that possibly I am not being the best teacher. Most all the kids like me as their teacher, but I don't feel that any, if few, are actually learning anything. Hence I begin to question my teaching strategies and ideals. This may be the beginning of a teaching revolution- where I wage war on my own teaching practices looking for ways to conquer the enemy known as stagnant, ineffective teaching practices. I have never felt that I just "turned the page" in my lessons. I usually invest 5-8 hours a weekend preparing for the next week (and this is non-paid time). I begin to question the value of this. In light of recent events, I think that I may re-evaluate this practice. This leads to another whole new dilemma of being able to stand by what I have said to myself and not let "the kids" allow me to revert to things I have taken away. I guess that is a HUGE weakness of mine. That I want SO MUCH for the kids to learn, that I am willing to "eat it" in the management department so they can have the "learning opportunity" that they really didn't earn. I guess guilt plays huge into my personality. I don't like feeling like I have let someone down, so I try to be the peacekeeper and make everyone happy. Top that with a sprinkle of perfectionist and a dash of anxiety and you have one really messed up person- Mr. Hughes.

So, as you can see this has been a week, so far, of great depth as far as wanting to reflect on my teaching and life in general. I don't know where this will lead. I truly think it will be out of this town and on to a different adventure. I have to teach here for at least 3 more years because of a contract that I have, but at the expiration of that commitment, our little family will be truly looking at a new adventure- one that may take me out of education all together. My wife and I have talked about this quite a bit, and it would be really hard on our family, but maybe better for my health and happiness. I know that I have blogged many times on this subject, and every time I have relented my feelings knowing that making a change would lead to lots of change and upheaval of my little herd. But I don't see that happening this time. I could be wrong, but as I get further and further into my administrative licensure, I am realizing that this isn't really I wanted to deal with. All being a principal is is a glorified teacher. Instead of dealing with just a class, you deal with teachers who have the potential to be just as unruly AS the students, plus the students, parents, community, AND district to contend with. I don't know, it is all VERY overwhelming.

Well, this has been great therapy for me.

Later...

3 comments:

  1. Wow - I knew something was up but this is major. I hope and pray that the right solution will come to you. I know you have done very well with the two classes I've been involved with so far. I think small communities like this are tougher for teachers because you see the kids all day long - you don't get a break like some larger places, even here (not that we are too much larger a community than you are but we have 3 or 4 sixth grade classes and they switch between teachers all the time - they have different teachers for PE, art, music, sometimes the same for homeroom as they do for other classes but they all sort of specialize - so one teacher may teach ELA subjects and they have to switch classes for that; one is all math for that grade, et cetera.

    Maybe that is what you need instead of a quitting teaching altogether - you need a bigger community where you get to teach a variety of studennts throughout the day and you get some breaks from them. When they are in PE or music or computers or band or whatever the extra period of the day is - you get a planning period - that is conference with parents time, et cetera -

    If you leave teaching altogether, it will definitely be interesting to see where you end up. Maybe you will follow Allisha's sister to the east coast - lol and who knows then - I'll follow your blog and we'll still have google talk to keep in touch no matter what - Mrs. E :)

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  2. Dang John! I hope you find what makes you happy. You are an amazing teacher- I know that, I've seen it. You are someone I look up to and hope that I can be half the teacher you are. I know that you will do what is right for you and the fam. Hang in there! Loves! ;)

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  3. Well, I think all teachers go through this type of thing. Hang in there. They ARE learning...even if you don't think they are. But, I have thought many times about getting out of teaching so I can't blame you. I do believe in finding something that makes you happy...good luck on your search. We're behind you 100% whatever you decide!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

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