Friday, September 28, 2012

Year 3: Week 4 – “This Is Exhausting”

Taylor Swift’s newest song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” has a spoken part in the middle when Taylor describes how she feels about this constant breaking up and getting back together: “And I'm like, I'm just, I mean this is EXHAUSTING.” This is exactly how I felt after teaching one of my music classes earlier this week.

Look, this blog is not about complaining, so I’m not going to spend the rest of this post explaining about how bad they behaved and how hard it is to be a teacher and all of that teacher-hero stuff. Instead I want to think about what really happened in that class and what was it all about.

One of the challenges that I’ve had this year is that I’ve planned the beginning of this year on how the grade ended, not began. For example, part of me expected my new class to be at the point my class was at the end of the year, not the beginning. The reason this happens is that the incredible growth and change that happens in a school year is so gradually that sometimes you are shocked at the beginning of the next year.

So part of this is me needing to adjust my own expectations from how thing ended last year. Another issue is the class itself.

Yes, every class I’ve taught over the past three years have had similar curriculum, instruction strategies and assessment tools, but every single class I’ve taught has had a unique class dynamics. Sometime finding that groove, the way you need to teach that specific class comes really quickly and sometimes it takes longer, I’m searching with that “exhausting” class.

Now, I’m not alone here. The homeroom teacher and I get along great and we’ve been talking at length about strategies to best help this class succeed. She totally has my back and I have hers. I’m happy to reinforce themes and ideas that strike a chord in her class and she is eager to hear about things that I try in my class.

This kind of professional relationship is one of the things that I love my school. I didn’t have this at previous schools and it really makes me not feel as bad about the issues I’m having, knowing that I’m not alone.

I told this kids that they were exhausting. I told them that I wasn’t sure what I needed to do to help them pull themselves together and I told them that I wanted to help them get to a point where they could have more choices by making better choices about the way they operated in the classroom. That was really honest, because frankly right now, I’m not sure what to do them.

That’s okay though, that feeling of being lost, running out of ideas is not something to fear. When you hit that point that I’m at with these kids, this is when you grow, this is when you become creative and through working with other teachers not only find solutions but also build relationships.

Yes, I’m exhausted, but I haven’t given up and as Scarlett said “After all... tomorrow is another day.”

No comments:

Post a Comment