Friday, August 10, 2012

Student Teaching Part VI - Black Socks & Angels

This is the sixth entry of my student teaching journals (Part IPart II, Part III, Part IV & Part V).

After school I worked with Katie on her essays for Northwestern. That was a lot of fun. I’m making some real connections with her and she’s beginning to really trust me and open up to me. She is more self-aware then a lot of kids, she just has trouble expressing things and not judging people too quickly. She’s a great kid, and she tries, and I admire her in a way and I’m really going to miss her.

Megan: Mr. S was being tough on black socks today during the game. Kids he caught with black socks had to run in grab a pair so they could do the show. Megan came up to me and jokingly told me that she was walking on a thin line and she would tell me about it after the game. About five minutes later I realized it was the fact she as wearing white socks. Her pants were long so it wasn’t obvious but there still was an issue.

I tried to come down on her and she did not believe I would tell Mr. S. She told me that it wasn’t cool for me to do this and it wasn’t a big del. I reasoned with her for a bit and left her. I told Mr. S and he told me that she needed to get black socks to march 1/2 time. I went back to her and told her and she was pissed that I told Mr. S. She was giving me tons of attitude and really couldn’t believe that I would do that. I let her complain at me and I didn’t want to just blow up at her. I felt that if she got her say maybe she would understand how idiotic she sounded and what she was really saying. It ended with me telling her what was the deal and walking away.

Laurie: God bless her, she came up to me after seeing that whole exchange and apologized for Megan. Laurie is an angel. She is the kind of person that sees into your heart no matter what you try to express on the outside. She saw clearly that this whole Megan thing had shook me up and it did. For some reason I was about to cry. And the thing is I guess was that I knew it wasn’t personal, I knew I was doing the right thing, but it’s hard to hear that stuff.

You care about these kids and it’s easy to be nice to them to show you care but it’s difficult to be hard on them to express that you care and that you aren’t just punishing them for no reason. Especially Megan who I like a lot, it just was hard. Laurie tried to cheer me up and said that something “sucked ass-stronomically.” She was really cute and well. . it’s amazing how some kids get it. They understand when someone is really there who cares about them. Some of the kids really understand that I’m there for them and really trying to help them and well Megan at that moment forgot that but Laurie didn’t.

Right before the halftime performance I checked with one of the moms and she had told Megan that there was socks inside that she could go get. I checked Megan and told her that she could not go on without the socks. She tried to use the excuse that the other kids had not gotten black socks and well, good thing I had checked before talking to Megan because I didn’t let her use that against me. She stormed off. I told Mr. S what had happened. She came back at the last second with black socks.

So I did the right thing. And Megan is going to be pissed at me for hopefully not any longer then a week. And maybe she’ll surprise me by apologizing to me, and maybe from here on out she will hate me. Either way, I did what I did and hopefully somewhere along the line she will understand the choice made and get it.

Mr. S left the game early and I thought he went to the parent party but he didn’t show up there. It was really awkward at this parent party but it was ok. I couldn’t really relax and have a glass of wine. I was still on, but the parents were all very nice and it was ok.

It’s a big thing to have so many people lean on you. It’s a lot of kids to take care of. Sometimes I feel like that I’m about to topple over because there is no way for me to lean on someone else as much as I feel that people are leaning up against me. Teaching is really hard, and sometimes I worry that I don’t have the strength to do this every day.

The rewards are great, and there is nothing like a parent saying thank you, and as much as I can’t lean on a kid, it’s amazing to see a kid like Laurie caring about you. All I can say is that today was tough, but the good stuff I think outweighed the difficult stuff and hopefully in the end the difficult stuff will end up for the best.

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