Today was probably the worst day I have had all year.
Behaviorally speaking it wasn’t, but emotionally it was.
I started out the day feeling tired. I had stayed up too late the night before (stupid) so I slept in until 6:45 instead of getting up to run at 5:30. (Probably necessary given how late I had stayed up, but I always feel better if I exercise first thing in the morning.) Today we have late start and I always make the mistake of thinking that I will have more prep time in the morning on late start Wednesdays because I don’t see students until 9:30. But that isn’t the case because we usually have school-wide or department meetings that take up most of the morning. I felt drained and couldn’t concentrate in the meeting and then I was stressed because I had not arrived early enough to sufficiently prepare for class that day.
I had to finalize my plans in the last 10 minutes before I had students. This is not a fun feeling. It’s not that I procrastinate, I write out lessons plans for Monday through Friday before each week. But I’ve found the only way I can keep my workload to a reasonable level is if I arrive an hour early each morning to work and then stay until about 5 each day. I spend the hour in the morning setting up my classroom, printing or creating activities, and so on. I did’t have that time today and it was my fault. I was not only not prepared for teaching but I was tired.
I was observed during my trouble block: 3rd and 4th bell. We had the same problems that I have been having with them. Somewhere a few weeks ago I lost a few of them and I haven’t been able to wrangle them back. I couldn’t think clearly and I was tired and they were wearing me down. The observation did not go well. All the ones that I have had before this have gone great so this is the first time that it has gone poorly. I’m not worried about it the observation so much as the class itself. I’m really discouraged with the group, especially because they used to work so well for me.
During 5th bell planning I went and spoke with an administrator to get some advice. She told me that the administration will support me if I have to send kids out of the class who aren’t understanding what they need to do, even if it takes 10 before the class get it. I’ve been too reluctant to do this. I’ve lost control of that class.
In my final block I could tell that my students were just as tired as I was. They were all silent and they answered some questions but when it came time to do work they shut down. Not in a defiant way, but in a “too exhausted to think” way. Or maybe I’m projecting, but I asked them all and they said as much. And I was definitely too tired to coach them into enthusiasm. When there was about 20 minutes left in class I changed from what I had planned to a Kahoot. Engagement was slightly higher but still not great.
I’m really hoping that I can work to get my middle block back to where it needs to be because I really feel good about my first and third blocks. Most of my students respond to me and participate and seem to be doing well.
Now that I’ve written this reflection I have to write another one for my observation. Too bad I can’t just copy-paste the URL to my blog in an email and forward it to the administrator haha.
Thanks for reading.