Remember this post?  Today was a repeat, the second time this year.  The worst part about it?  I should have seen it coming — there were a mountain of warnings as to how badly my day was going to go today.

Hint #1:  I was getting emotional and almost shed tears over how amazing these kids are when watching the ballet documentary First Position last night while doing my nails.  hormonally triggered emotions.

Hint #2: I’m set to be officially observed tomorrow and today’s classes were supposed to be “rehearsal” on how my lesson will go for tomorrow’s class.  pressure.

Hint #3: I’m feeling especially stressed lately with our school’s student-led conferences coming up where my crew kids have to prepare for and present to their parents and other adults in the community what they have learned over the course of the semester; presentations that some of my crew kids need major help with – and they are a reflection of me.  pressure.

Hint #4: I had accidentally ground too many coffee beans that morning and instead of just leaving the grounds for tomorrow, I just added it to today’s pot.  Tooo much coffeeeeee by the time lunch rolled around.  jitters.

Hint #5: I spent all morning in meetings, parts of which were helpful and I find value in, others not so much (just a time suckage).  frustration.

Hint $6: I haven’t been able to really eat lunch since school started. But today I did, an apple which jacked up my blood sugar level right in time for my first class.  jitters.  nausea.

Hint #7: That familiar lump started forming in my throat within the first 5 minutes of class, when not a single kid would shut the hell up, get settled into class and start writing their do-now.  frustration.

Hint #8: This first class of the day has a handful of boys that just love to push buttons.  anger and frustration.

Again, I should have seen it coming and I didn’t.  I lost my shit.  

I went on a tirade about “if you want to play games, there’s the door.” and “what was that?  you want to repeat what you just said again louder to me?” — The kid has just whispered “fucking bitch” under his breath.

So one kid getting kicked out led to a second kid talking about how I’m doing too much. Second kid gets kicked out too — but then refuses to leave.  This kid then goes on his own tirade about how it’s illegal for me to kick him out of class and how he’s not going anywhere.  Which (of course, I shoulda known), led to yet a third kid to mouth off and get kicked out because “he doesn’t care anyway”.  So two kids in the hall (first and third), one of them yelling out “Cunt!” as he walks out.  The second one kid had to get escorted out by the principal.

I held it together for the next 2 hours or so, tried my best not to let the first class sour the second.  Allowed myself to cry for 5 min, wiped off my face and went to yet another meeting for 45 min.

The worst part?  I should have seen it coming.  I should not have yelled, I should not have kicked those boys out, I should not have let them get to me.  They’re teenagers with no sense of how their words and actions may affect others.  I should have controlled my anger, frustration and emotions a bit better.  Instead, I let myself get into a situation, which then set these boys up to fail.  So in the end, I’m more disappointed in myself than I am upset with the boys.

Lessons learned:

1) don’t make coffee extra strong anymore.

2) when I feel that lump of anger/tears coming up my throat, it’s time to take a breather – someone can always cover for 5 min.

3) don’t threaten kids with consequences with getting kicked out, it will only set them off to be even more defiant, which then leads to being called a “cunt”.

4 thoughts on “losing it.

  1. Just remember that the rest of the class probably felt really bad about how these kids were behaving. I once overheard someone in my class say “good riddance” when I asked a kid to “get out of MY classroom”. That’s when I realized that most of the students really don’t enjoy these type of behaviors.

    Furthermore, emotions are NORMAL. It’s good that you have them. And I do not think that you “set these boys up to fail” as you put it. I once had a student who was walking on desks (yep – like he was playing hopscotch) while I was trying to teach. He ended up being kicked out of the class (after months). The following year, he thanked me in the hallway saying I had changed his life for the best.

    I think a teacher who cares about kids as much as you obviously do, is very promising!

    Big big hugs. 🙂

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    1. thank you! hugs and support from colleagues is exactly what makes me feel better (and hopeful) about crappy events in my classroom. I really do want to change these kids lives for the better…sometimes I just think that I’m doing it all wrong and making it worse. I’ve been doing this for 4 years – a drop in the bucket compared to other composed teachers with amazing classroom management skills. Fingers crossed that one day I’ll reach that teacher-zen stage and handle these situations with a win win outcome.

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  2. Oh no! What a terrible day! I agree that the other students are quietly thanking you for removing the students who are misbehaving! So it is actually good for the majority of the class. I like that you are already thinking of how you can prevent this from happening in the future, but I don’t think you should take the blame for it. That isn’t fair at all. You cannot always control other people’s behavior. And they needed to learn something. 😦 I’m sorry you had a bad day. I am lucky enough to have an office I can cry in, which I totally make use of.

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