Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Day

I felt like a Miss Cranky Pants all day today and had kind of a short fuse today. I didn't scream at my kiddos or anything but I feel like I wasn't very nice to them (repercussions of yesterday's emotional episode). We had an activity with the local university but the professor didn't have any helpers so what should have been a really fun activity for my kids (and me) turned out to be a huge headache for me. I lost my patience with the kiddos a couple of times and I feel bad about it now. I am going to be honest with them on Monday and say I was having a bad day and apologize if it seemed like I was being overly harsh because that's not fair to them. We'll wipe the slate clean with a new week and go from there. I'm sure they don't think it is a big deal at all but I feel like I owe it to them to keep it real because they deserve that.

Another reason our project became a huge headache is because we are drilled to be academic, academic, academic all the time. So if anything remotely fun happens outside of say art or PE, the kiddos don't know how to handle it. Isn't that sad? Once I realized that was a big part of the reason I was so frustrated today, I knew I had to apologize to my class. I wasn't screaming at them or anything but my patience wasn't what it usually is and it totally wasn't their fault.

We took our math MAP test today and all but 2 of my kiddos showed growth. I was really happy about that. Two went down (big time, like 8 and 10 points). I'm upset by that because they're both resource kiddos and I feel like we've jumped through hoops for them and to see them go backward is discouraging (although one of my resource kids made a HUGE jump so that made me feel a bit better since this kiddo has more or less flatlined recently). Next week sometime, without announcing it to them beforehand, we're going to have a pizza party or something to celebrate their hard work because they felt SO much pressure on these tests and they need to be rewarded for making me and themselves look good!

A really good thing that happened today was after school, Mrs. Cooperating Teacher, who was in a school improvement meeting all day, told me that Mrs. Principal asked her to be Miss New Teacher's mentor (required by the state that they have a mentor for 3 years). She said she wanted that title to be MINE because if you go to the meetings, it's a paid position and she said "Sunny has already been mentoring Miss New Teacher, without anyone even asking her to, she jumped right in to help her because that's the kind of teacher she is". I really appreciated those compliments and the other things she said. Unfortunately the mentor has to be tenured which I am not so Mrs. CT said she would agree to be listed as the mentor but if any money is paid out, she wants it to go to me. I thought that was so sweet of her. It made me feel really good. We all got an email from Mrs. Principal telling us that it has to be Mrs. CT and whatnot but she also said she really appreciates how we've all stepped in to help each other and be supportive. It's nice to work on a real team and feel like you're making a positive impact, not just for the kids but for the adults too.

So in the end, yesterday was crap and today was a bit better. I'll have to weekend to get myself back together and start fresh with my kiddos Monday. I know that once the testing pressure is behind us, things will go back to normal -- or as close to normal as you can get as an elementary teacher!


  1. I'm glad today was a better day!

  2. I TOTALLY know how you feel with the testing pressure. I too feel guilty when I plan something remotely fun like writing workshop that's not strictly "test prep." These poor kids! I've been cranky lately too--I think everyone is a bit on edge (to say the least) this time of year...can't wait til March when it's all behind us...

  3. @Miss Teacher -- but for us....our standardized testing is in October so it's not that kind of pressure for us. The district just puts so much emphasis on testing them to the hilt that often we feel like we aren't teaching anything! We actually have a high-up admin who was quoted as saying the kids at our school are too "dumb" to spend time coloring. Nice, huh?