Thursday, October 14, 2010

Confession is good for the soul, they say

Today was my Weird Bullying Issues day. Won't go into too many details--just spent half the day with the Vice Principal saying, "What would you advise?" and the other half talking to weeping children who didn't think they'd get caught.

This was at the end of a week that started off very badly, after a Friday that dropped the bottom out of my newly not-on-antidepressants state and left me weeping and shaking all weekend. I came back feeling like hell, and rebuilt a little. I still don't feel great, but I'm OK.

Anyway, toward the end of the day, I caught a kid sitting at another kid's desk, going through it. The desk of the kid who's been complaining that his stuff is going missing, and junk being put into his desk when he's away from it. After I spent five minutes this morning talking about the terrible stuff that would happen to any child caught messing with another kid's desk.

I kind of leaped at him, when I registered what I was seeing and said WHATAREYOUDOING, and he started to say something, and I snapped that he was in SOMUCHTROUBLE and sent him back to his own desk...and then didn't get a chance to talk to him after school because he escaped during dismissal--so I talked to the vice principal again instead.

And I realized something.

I am being weird with the kids because being back in middle school is scaring the bejaysus out of me. The last time I was in middle school was a bad, bad year. Around January, I got a GLOWING review from my principal, and literally a week later, a parent wandered into my classroom at a bad moment, and I had a dust-up with the Education Expert, and suddenly I was persona non grata at that school.

And I am so afraid of it happening again. And when the kids misbehave, my blood runs cold, because if ANY child misbehaves EVER, I figure it's going to be 'don't let the door hit your tush on the way out' again. So I'm trying to get them behave by sheer force of will--and getting angry too easily because I'm SCARED TO DEATH.

And I can't do that. I have to teach the kids. Like they are, not like I want them to be in the future. I have to deal with their stuff now. I have to be real with them and their parents now. And if my best isn't good enough, that will have to be too damn bad. I am working hard, I'm being as sane and consistent and strict as I can manage under the new-school, wacky-talky class conditions, and I'll get better. But I can't scream DOYOUKNOWHOWMUCHTROUBLEYOU'REINMISTER at an eleven-year-old boy because I'm afraid other grownups will blame me if he does something wrong. He will, probably do something wrong. He's eleven. And human.

I will probably do a lot of wrong things too. Because I'm thirty-seven and human. I didn't handle it right today. But I need to stop being so afraid.

Also, I need to get my Vitamin D count up to at least fifty from THIRTEEN. My doctor has spoken.


Anonymous said...

Hon -

Your great uncle Joe (Margie's husband) would sometimes talk about the "old", (as in PRE World War II), navy. One thing he said said was "Messing with another guys hammock was a brig offense."

It wasn't like you jumped all over the kid for, say, chewing gum and I think messing with another kid's desk is, to my mind, the closest thing in middle school to a "brig offense"

Mr. Bluejans Sr.

Anonymous said...

PS: Who knows? By Monday, word my be out "If you push Mrs. Bluejeans to far she'll really get on your case." and some of them e will be scared too. Not necesarly a bad thing.

Love again,

Mr. Bluejeans Sr.