Just a quick update and explanation for my lack of blogging recently. Work (school) is kind of kicking my ass lately. There are certain times of the month where us teachers here seem to share a certain survival instinct. There's a lot to do, in a very short amount of time and it involves a lot of hard work, compromise and plain old bending to suit the needs of others, even if those needs aren't always understood by everyone involved. It should be something I would have gotten used to through my past work experiences. I am learning to play, it just takes me a bit longer.
I care about my kids - even the ones who create a situation where I am tempted to throw small (or not so small) children out the window of a windowless classroom. It's a challenge to know that maybe only 25% of my kids are reachable and the rest simply have varying degrees of not caring. It's a tough position to be in - to see how one student could be positively affected through change, and then recognizing that I am powerless to affect that change through the consequence of actually being honest about their work in my class. Sometimes it just isn't the school's idea of the "best policy".
Oh well, it's time to turn the corner and see what I can do within these rules. I love these kids - even the ones who are determined to be a pain in the ass or who try to convince me that they couldn't possibly care any less. Little magic moments for me are found in places like giving more comments that necessary on a book report, to find a few weeks later that the child's writing has actually improved a great deal, they've read what I've said, and they seem to get it now. There's nothing like seeing the reaction of a student receiving his or her first truly earned "A". That's worth it to me. But, yeah - sometimes it's about survival, and survival through compromise is often the only viable option.