The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 29 2013

Go Fly A Kite

Day 90: I suppose I’m lucky that I haven’t had a real train-wreck class all year. That’s likely due to some combination of decent management and my relationships with kids, and it’s been working out. Today, however, was maybe the closest I’ve come all year. 6C really couldn’t shut up at the start of class, and then again at the end of class, with brief periods of focus sprinkled throughout. Somehow, they nailed the exit ticket, so it couldn’t have been all bad.

I thought afternoon homeroom might bring my mood up, and help remind me and my homeroom that we have fun together. They had earned their reward, which was me singing with my mouth full of marshmallows. It was fun to see my kids laugh as I attempted to not choke while singing “That’s What Makes You Beautiful.”

My homeroom partner recorded it for me. As she gave me the camera, she warned me that me and AC in the front row were a study in contrasts. Sure enough, there I was, singing my heart out and trying not to spit marshmallow bits at students … And there was AC, doing her best to avoid looking at me at all costs. This was also a minute after AM asked me if she could leave, because she didn’t need to see the reward.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. My skin is too thin. That’s been a problem my whole life. Even though 6D loved the reward, and most of 6C, all I can think about sometimes is this frustrating pair of AC and AM.

And then, over a cupcake this evening, my roommate suggested a wonderful philosophy: Go fly a kite. Specifically, she’s heard all my stories. She knows my “kill ’em with kindness” approach. But she also knows I’m not making headway. So, I can’t spend my energy worrying about them. In fact, they might not deserve it, since all they do is take my kindness and spit it back in my face.

To clarify, I’m not saying “go fly a kite” as substitute for something non-teacher appropriate. Well … Maybe a little. But it’s more the idea that I can’t keep returning spite with kindness. I can’t keep worrying and ruminating. It’s not fair to me.

They’re still my students, and I plan to teach them to the best of my ability. However, the next time I get irritated by one of my fickle ladies, I’ll just think to myself: Go fly a kite.

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