I Failed Today

I promised myself that I would not yell in the classroom today. It was a promise that I was not able to keep. It feels like I failed today.

In a few weeks I will need to start writing report cards. I have been getting quite frustrated lately with my students. It is getting really close to the end of the year and I expect a lot from them. I want them all to do well but the fact is that some of them are not.

I wish school wasn’t about the marks. I wish there was a way I could motivate all of them to do their best all the time. I have a motto for the class that we all try to live by; Be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. I have a banner of this saying in huge letters at the front of the classroom. I teach from it and mention it often. The students know what it means and seem to respond to it.

Today’s journal topic was to write about why it is important to be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. It should’ve been an easy enough assignment but the students seemed to be sitting frozen to their seats this morning. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t yell so I wrote the opening sentence for their paragraphs on the board today. After a few minutes, most of them had still not come up with an original sentence. I wasn’t sure what the problem was, so I circulated around the room, pointed out the paragraph model poster we have used all year, and tried to get them started.

I finally got all but one student to finish a journal entry today but only after I wrote an example on the board. Some just copied it, some changed it a bit, and a precious few wrote their own original paragraph. And all of this after I had given them double the amount of time they usually had to do it.

Things didn’t go well for the rest of the day either. They were completely unmotivated to do their work. They weren’t listening well to my lessons. I was trying hard to take it all in stride. I made it to 11:45 before I lost my cool and yelled at them. I almost made it the entire morning.
So it feels like I failed today. My students didn’t live up to their potential. They didn’t get much work done today, and I broke a promise to myself. Maybe it was just a bad day.

I enjoy teaching and hope that we have a better day together tomorrow.

p.s. I hope you like the new layout.

1 Comment on I Failed Today

  1. If all you did was yell, and that just once, relax, you’ve not morphed into the devil.

    I’ve heard of and sometimes seen teachers throwing things, pinching kids, collapsing in a tantrum, reducing their classes to tears or simply threatening to walk out.

    Kids are master manipulators. They have 24 hours a day to figure out how to push adult buttons, while we are busy earning our paycheck and sorting the bills.

    The old Cosby show was brilliant in getting that point across — and also demonstrating how to cope with it. Curl up with a DVD of that tonight, you’ll feel better.

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