Today was one of those days I was a completely ineffective teacher. I just fizzled out when they continued to push in my 2nd block. I let two students who’ve been working hard sit in a seat of their choosing, and then the rebellion spiraled like a snowball. By the end, everyone was just walking around and having loud conversation with each other and couldn’t care less that their friends were trying to present their theme presentations. As the whole class wandered around and I debated the points of forcing them to identify the setting, plot, climax and resolution of the story, I just took a seat. I let that block win, today. Tomorrow, I’ll know not to let them sit in their own seats. This is my house, children. Get in line. I tried to treat you like adults. Heaven knows I don’t want to enforce assigned seats. But yall have no clue how to sit stilll and learn. No.clue.
But today I was just too spiritually, emmotionally and physically tired. I don’t know how on earth people find the stamina to do this for years and years. The students disrespect weighs on you.
But then when my hood-rats come in 4th block, I eat those boys up like pie. They pretend to be so tough, but they are so sweet and sensitive. I found T. skipping outside the bathroom and I asked him to make photo-copies with me instead. I can’t even fully explain my love for that child. I had my class make a “congratulations” card for J. who just dropped out because his girlfriend gave birth to their first son. He’s fourteen, y’all. My class signed the note like a regular-run-of-the-mill Birthday-card. They are so supportive and loving to one another when they go through these types of situations. Even one of my most difficult special education kids told me he’s been texting G. to check up on the new baby. Their attitudes and resilience blow me away. Did we get through even half of the lesson that day in 4th block? Hell no. But that’s how it goes. You stop caring so much about your lesson plans and fall in love with their strong hearts.
My advisor tells me I’m always over-ambitious in my lesson plans. I need to cut down on the amount I plan to do. But honestly, I always expect them to do more and be more. Is that wrong? Feels so strange to only ever expect them to digest sound-bites. My low-level kids completely rejected the Youtube video on Black Hollywood Stereotypes. How do my advanced kids process it so well and react so violently, and my low-level kids let it roll of their backs like water. They are living stereo-types and they fit the descriptions and expectations of poor-low-achieving-bloack students. Why don’t they want to fight that image? Why don’t they even realize how they are oppressed?
And some days (or maybe most of the time) it looks like chaos – but you start building those relationships and they start saying, “Hey, Ms. Baker” in the hallways and you see their eyes and you know they are starting to trust and love you even in their smart-ass- cussing -you- out- sometimes-kinda- way, and you just learn to let the chaos be and find that one to love.
God, today blew. I sucked so bad today and I imagined it was going to be so good. There’s always tomorrow. Getting out of the bed is getting tough. I need a vacation soon.