As a teacher, have you ever had one of *those* weeks?
Of course you have.
The students are *pinging*... parents are deciding to finally spill the beans and let you know that even though you've conferenced with them three times since school started regarding their child's behavior, they thought they'd just "wait and see" if YOU'D catch on that their child is ADD/ADHD, and oops, did we forget to tell you, has been prescribed meds since pre-k that "we weren't certain were necessary this year?"
Even the paper cutter was working against me this week. No blood or injuries, I'm grateful to have my digits intact, but paper for "scarecrow hair' was cut so wonky I let the Stars use it "free form" for other creative constructions. Funny how little things like that can fall into the stress-zone category when the week's vibe is off from the get-go.
Being flexible... Being creative... And the toughie: being p-a-t-i-e-n-t and not throttling parents as their social and medical experimentation with their children (sanctimoniously conducted while ignoring the fact that it's their children who suffer socially and emotionally as their peers avoid them like the plague and whisper "I don't like you, you're mean," ) come to light. I distinctly remember those professional skills never being discussed during my college days when I enrolled in Education 201.
What gets you through stressful weeks? Your students, pinging or not, awesome parent volunteers, your sympathetic colleagues, and for me, chocolate.
Lots and lots of chocolate.
Teacher/Student Conversation or The Fine Art of Translation
Student J.: Mrs. Sommerville, I know you're gonna teach us how to read and write words...
Me: Um hmm...
J.: ...and I know I'm writing my Rr's better now...
Me: Yes you are...
J.: But when are you gonna teach me how to do da-dishes?
Me: The dishes?
J.: Yeah, da-dishes.
Me: Well honey, Mom or Dad or even a big brother or sister could help you learn how to wash the dishes at home, and they might even let you load the dishwasher if you have one.
J.: No, no no, not washing the dishes, DA-DISHES. You know, my mom said you would teach me math and how to do DA-DISHES.
Me (having a lightbulb moment): Oh! ADDITION?
J. (looking incredibly relieved that I'd finally caught on): Yes! Da-dishes!
What's left to do? Have a Wubba Wubba Wubba Weekend of course!