The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 11 2013

In Which a Slip-Up is Forgiven

Day 171: Finals review packets aren’t thrilling, but they’re effective. Three classes walked in and, for the most part, efficiently made their way through nine months of science. Three days until the final, and we’ve got plenty of work to do.

I told a student to shut up today. It was the end of fourth period with my oft-scattered homeroom, and I was just trying to explain the homework, but MJ – whom I had asked to work in a fourth grade room because he’d been off-task – was half-in, half-out of the room, talking loudly to someone in the hallway.

As soon as I’d said it, I knew I shouldn’t have. I am responsible for the positive and respectful environment in my classroom. However, in full disclosure, I didn’t feel immensely guilty, either. I love that. It means that while I recognize the lapse, I’m also recognizing it’s high time I forgave myself for the quite reasonable exhaustion I feel at this point in the year.

Moreover, I had plenty of chances to realize I love my kids, and that that – not losing patience – is my norm. After school, subbing for our receptionist at the front desk, I had CJ join me so she could get her Spanish homework done in a quiet place. Whenever a parent came and his or her child needed to be paged to the office, I offered the job to CJ first … although she wussed out of most names, saying they were too tricky to pronounce. While she should have been doing her Spanish, and I should have been doing my grad school reading, there was a fair amount of her offering me Doritos and me asking her about summer plans.

There are 10 days left, I’m tired, and I’ll have my slip-ups. But I’m also going to have fun with my kids, and manage to goad 10 students into making flash cards in after school homework lab. Overall, I think I’m doing just fine.

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