Tuesday, March 20, 2012

(Not) in the Mood

I'm writing this on Monday evening before I finally call it a day. What is it about March that drives to these 11-hour days? I'm not throwing a pity party for myself, though. In fact, I've never felt more solidarity, being at my school at 6:30. I'm chatting with some fellow crazy colleagues who are destroying the copiers, and I know that all across the country, according to a new survey of teachers, many of my friends near and far are also working ten and eleven hour days, every day. So hello my brothers and sisters. Maybe it's time to think about dinner. GO HOME.

Anyway, this morning I was not at all in the mood to be at work. I couldn't sleep last night and woke up this morning pretty cranky. In my first class of the day, one of my students was extremely surly and unpleasant, and another of my students, who only joins us once a week or so and hadn't shown his face in a week and a half, decided to show up and brighten the class with his presence today, of all days. It took all of my professionalism and dignity to say, "Daisy, is something going on? Are you feeling like it's hard for you to handle being in class?" and "Teddy, I know you might be feeling a little lost right now, so maybe it would be good for you to start on p. 47 and see how much you understand, and I'll check in in a little while" instead of "^&%! it, YOU ROTTEN ANNOYING CHILDREN NEED TO EITHER SHUT UP OR GET OUT OF MY SIGHT." So I was at least proud of myself for that one.

But sometimes if you can just hold it together for those few uncomfortable, unpleasant minutes, you can let in just enough sweetness and light to get you through the rest of the day. Before long, we were laughing at nasty Shakespeare puns and discussing the problems of drunkenness and figuring out whether people are really evil or just dishonest with themselves. I was hosting some kids for lunch who just wanted to look up goofy things on the computer and listen to music and complain about school food. And when my last class ended, I'd lost track of the time and had to very quickly wrap things up, and students lingered several minutes after the bell.

Forgive this slightly corny post, friends. I know things are still bad out there right now. But just thought I'd share how even a Monday can be turned around with a little mindfulness from yourself and the kiddies. It turned out to be a good day. And, on a Monday in March, when the sun is still shining (and you're still at work, granted, but never mind that) as the clock approaches 7, that's a good thing.
blog comments powered by Disqus