Tuesday Tell-All

Tuesday Tell-All, First Day of School Edition

*I’ve got three words to describe the first day of school today: Considering. Early. Retirement. Here I am, only starting my second year, and I think I’m about to be defeated and driven to insanity by a handful of particularly rogue and rambunctious 12-year-olds.

*Now I’m kinda starting to get why people are always telling me I’m going straight to heaven for teaching 7th graders. With teaching kids like this, I’m going straight to heaven with a basketful of eternal chocolate and caffeine.

*My first clue that this year might not be quite as blissful as last (although that wasn’t exactly a walk in the park most the time)? Literally three minutes into my advisory class, after I’ve spent all three of those minutes going over what “respect” means and how I expect the students to demonstrate it while we brainstorm ideas of what to call our “team,” a kid calls out loudly (after another kid volunteers a team name): “That’s the STUPIDEST, most UNORIGINAL idea I’ve ever heard. Seriously lame, man.” I called him out sharply on this, but he only sat there grinning at me like he thought I was kidding. After I threatened to take him out into the hall for a chat, he slightly sobered up, but he was muttering rude comments under his breath and sticking a balloon animal in his mouth for the rest of the class still.

*And I have that kid TWICE in one day, for two different classes. Oh the horror! The horror!

*I had been hearing about how hard this particular group is since last year, when they first entered the school year. All of us 7th grade teachers collectively had decided, though, that all of them would “grow up” and “mature” over the summer, and we wouldn’t have nearly as many problems as the 6th grade teachers had last year.

*Oh, how naïve we allow ourselves to be. And hopelessly optimistic.

*All day long though, I continued to remind myself: think of the poor students who never give any teachers any problems who have been stuck with some of these kids since kindergarten. Hang in there for them. (Some days it’s necessary to give myself little pep talks in between periods. Other days I just give myself straight shots of caffeine and sugar.)

*Did you have a kid like that in your grade growing up? One you just KNEW would be causing teachers problems til the end of time?

*Good things that happened today though: I had leftover pork chops and potatoes for my lunch (num!), and I had a decently positive experience with teaching Spanish for the first time ever. Oh, and I also felt better knowing that every teacher pretty much had the same struggles as me with that one kid (I was worried it was just me!).

*In all of my classes today, I did a short intro to myself and let the kids ask me whatever questions they wanted to know about me. Without fail, guess what the first question was every time? “How old are you?” After revealing that I’ll be 27 next month, the classes all let out collective gasps, and such comments as these followed: “There’s no way!” “You’re that old?!” “I thought you looked like a teenager,” and, from one particularly outspoken boy: “You look like you’re my age!!”

*To which I replied, “Heck no! I already survived middle school, thanks.” (After which I realized I probably should have been more sensitive considering that they’re just about to go through it. The suckers.)

*I thought it would be hard to keep up my resolution to keep on running three times a week this school year, but today I came home and remarked: “Maybe I’ll be running FIVE times a week with how this week is already looking…freak.”

*I also made the comment to Matt (you know it was bad if I’m thinking like this) that on the car ride home from school today, I thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll just get pregnant already so I can get out of this nightmare.”

*Yeah, I know. I’m terrible.

*On the other hand, I do have some students that will probably be perfectly delightful. It was just hard to notice them considering that 95% of my attention was being spent taking care of kids that were feeling WAY too comfortable in my class for the first day of school.

*Funny thing, though—as the day went on, I started getting tougher and stricter so those kids would know I meant business until by the end, I was purposely trying to scare the crap out of the kids with talk of how hard of a teacher I am (which is true) and how much work they’ll have to do (also true). It was already so bad by 3rd hour that by the end of the class (when I half-teasingly said that it looked like I’d scared them all half to death), one small boy tentatively said, “Well, you kinda have actually” (after which, half the class nodded with big saucer-eyes).

*I smiled real big on the inside at that comment.

*One day down, 179 to go. Maybe this won’t be the year I finally learn to unequivocally love teaching.

*But I’ll still try to remain positive 🙂

*I mean, at least I got to buy (and wear) new school clothes, right?


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