Thursday, 2 April 2015

Long Day...

Probably had one of the worst starts to the last day of term ever today. Had just finished putting on my ankle boots because ir was raining. I stood up to put my laptop on and go sort out the dog's food and then I tripped over my own shoes - because the shoelaces caught on the other shoe's buckles... and fell down on my knees scraping some stuff on the bookshelf. Dog wanting to come see me and me getting angry and not dealing. Poor knee. At least it was the other one and not the one that has issues. Though I suppose both knees will have issues now.

Not the best start.

Late for staff briefing because I was so knackered I slept too long and then fell over and still had to get to school.

Thought that it was the beginning of our Thursday Reflections that was announced previously the day before. I still have this assumption that when things are announced that they'll start straight away... and so I took my laptop in to the staffroom with me - and nope - staff briefing so we must be starting that next term instead.

My mate had her last day today and another mate will be leaving halfway into next term. Happy for them but gutted too. Starting to feel that creeping pressure again.

My Y10s sucked. Mind you it was a combination of my knees still hurting, my form class needing things from me and needing to know where their first class was and having to sort that out and the fact that my phone wouldn't connect to KAMAR or the portal properly and so I had to do it on my laptop and then the KAMAR programme wouldn't start up for ages and then my Y10s were coming in and being all rowdy and noisy and frustrating so I took it out on them - yelled at them to sit down and wait and in a brief moment of clarity I chucked a whiteboard pen to one of my boys to write a 9 square word hunt up so that they could get started while I was still sorting out the kids and then once I finally got my form class students sorted and they'd left I was still relatively annoyed and frustrated and even silly comments couldnt make me laugh just yet and ....

So my students asked what was wrong yet not in a way that would make me destress - but made me more frustrated and gah.

Somehow managed to salvage the lesson despitw one student being consistently rude and expecting special treatment because he'd actually done work yesterday for once and despite my positive recognition for it and the expectation that he must do work and the learning each day - he still reckoned he'd done enough the day before to warrent not doing any today. Gah.

Had my students use the writing prompts - though we'll need to work up to using them properly next time because they barely wrote anything. Some students did brilliant work and others just had such a kb response... it was ridiculous. Missed my pro poet who wasn't there and my other star students. I have a new star too who has consistently pushed her own word challenge limit to 55 now. Well done S!

What frustrates me is that I try different things with this class constantly and while I have success - it's not consistent. It depends on the day and the attitudes and the stuff that happened before school and the weather and who is and isn't in the class. So many damn factors. I just wish it were easier. But it's not.

Because on a daily basis there is a high stress level. High workload level. Expectations to do this side of admin and then this side too. There is never any budging on rules or flexibility of them and it feels so rigid. I feel like I can't see the trees through the fog sometimes... yet other days it's like I can't get enough sun.

The need to be organised with paper is just not my thing. Give me digital copies and I will file them alphabetically, categorically and chronologically. I will send documents back in five minutes when I get the email rather than taking a week or longer because I'd have to re - find the paper you gave me originally and then find a time to sit down and actually write on the damn thing. Oh and of course - walk back and put it in your pigeonhole. And then still be expected to email or KAMAR message you and say I've put it there.

Add to this the pastoral care and restorative chats and restorative justice I do with my students on a daily - sometimes every period basis with my students to ensure that they are here and focussed in my class. And the level of absolute care and empathy but not so much that I'm seen as stepping over some invisible line and ensuring that the paperwork is done in regards to every student who has extra needs and make sure that the class looks nice, welcoming and a place that they want to be in...

And of course - there's that other side of my job... the teaching. The resources and the research and the learning is easily my favourite part. Because when I have the right resource for my students - everything else I've taught them just seems to click.

They get what I'm getting at because I explain in sometimes 3 or 4 different ways to ensure every single kid in the class gets it. They get it because I'm passionate and I fight to help them learn. I want them to succeed. I know they can. I completely believe in them.

The issue comes down to motivation and attitude. Now I will try every damm thing I can think of to get my students engaged. I nearly burnt myself out last year with my Y13 students being their cheerleader all year - encouraging, motivating, reminding, pushing, prodding etc to get them over the finish line let alone with as many credits and finished assessments as possible.

I try to be the best teacher I can be.

I love it when I'm appreciated. Sometimes we just have stink days. I get that. But I can't deal with negative behaviours and attitudes when they're coming at me from all angles - particularly from other staff. Students I can usually deal with.... but today was hard.

I'm glad that my Y12 class was awesome and we had fun making up new mottos for different NZTA ad campaigns and that my Y10 Social Studies class were so engrossed in Schindlers List that I didn't want to end it so early so I could tell them I still wanted them to do their essays over the holidays with the scaffold I'd just finished making... and that my mate had a great end of year party in my class last period with her students and didn't even mind the tidy up either because it's important. And those cards they made for her will be treasured for ages.

Glad to be appreciated by a staff member for showing her how to use WeVideo and email it.

It was a long day. Long term. Looking forward to a sleep.