So, let’s be real.
Sometimes being a teacher really sucks.
I know I just wrote a post about love in which I talked about teaching as my answer to Reverend Mother’s challenge to “climb every mountain” until I “find [my] dream.”
And, if you’re a teacher, and you read that post, and you were thinking does this girl actually teach real high school students or is she just making this up???? … Well, I have an answer for you.
I teach real high school students, and I had a bad day at school today.
A really bad day.
There. I said it.
I won’t go into all the gory details, but suffice it to say that, among other things, a severe lack of classroom management was suddenly involved. I felt like I had stepped back into my first year of teaching. When I turned off the lights in my classroom at the end of the day to quiet the kids, or at LEAST get their attention (sometimes this makes them calm down and feel sleepy… no really, it does), I had unfortunately forgotten that it was raining outside. And when it rains outside in Louisiana, it can get really dark.
So, of course, when the kids in my last hour class suddenly found themselves in eerie twilight, they did not quiet down as I had hoped.
And kept screaming.
For a long time.
The office called my classroom, and within moments the principal was at the door (rightly) demanding to know what was going on.
After impending doom had been announced, and after the principal left, and after a brief silence in which I looked at them and they looked at me, I was barraged with angry comments. “Ms. Shea why did you do that? Why’d you get us in trouble? You was the one who turned off the lights! Hey you’d better make sure [insert student name] gets in trouble too, cuz she was here even if she’s not in our class!”
After the day was over I sat at my desk and cried. I haven’t done that in a long time. And then I thought about how angry I was that the kids were treating me this way when I was really trying to help them with this project and all the grading I’ve done lately and how giving them an inch of freedom was a big mistake and WHY did I decide they didn’t need bell work today and how dumb I was to trust them and… blah blah blah.
I mean, I’m upset because I love them. I wouldn’t feel this horrible otherwise.
But I’m also disgusted and exhausted.
So, basically, I’m just trying to say that this is the other side of love. Love Part II. And I feel a little bit like Maria when she finally comes back to be with the children only to discover that the Captain is engaged to someone else. And that’s the moment when she probably thinks to herself, “Well, Reverend Mother, I guess I climbed the wrong mountain.”
Actually, I think I feel more as if the children had turned on me and screamed “WE LIKE BARONESS SHRAEDER BETTER.”