Banging My Head Against A Wall I Can’t See

09/30/2009
Blank Sheet of Paper
Image by mark78_xp via Flickr

I’m tired.

I’m sore.

I’m frustrated and drained.

I know that teaching is a physically demanding profession, but I expected to feel better after my first day back following two weeks of enforced rest due to an ailing knee.

Instead I feel like I don’t want to face going to work tomorrow, particularly since the 8th grade class is my first period.

It is so important to get off to a good start with a class. That didn’t happen with the 8th graders. I only had one session with them before I got hurt and apparently I did not establish myself enough to carry over for the two weeks I was out.

Where my 6th grade class wanted to talk about my knee more than they wanted to follow my lesson plan, at least they acknowledged that I was there.

The 8th graders barely noticed that I was in the room. The dozen or so I was able to reach for the first part of the class joined in the socializing of the other 26 before it was half over

All my apprehensions about having to teach a large class for the first time in my career are coming true. I so much want to go back to teaching special education classes of twelve.

I have no idea how to walk into this class two weeks into the school year and establish routines, especially when I can’t get them to stop talking long enough for me to say hello.

When the bell finally rang after 43 minutes of near chaos, I was stunned when about half the students crowded around me asking what the homework was.

As I was sitting in my car after school, waiting for the Triple-A garage to come deal with a flat tire (yeah, it was one of those days) I heard someone in a radio story on NPR say that teaching is a constant process of recovering and learning from lessons that failed.

Today should have been one hell of an education.

First period tomorrow I have to do something different than what I did today and different from what I did twe weeks ago.

Right now I have no idea what that something is.

I hate feeling inept.

And I have no idea how I’m going to figure it out.

I hate feeling this empty.

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