raise your hand if you're absent

adventures and misadventures in the life of a first-year teacher

Monday, February 21, 2005

a place for everything

Last week was another long week. I was so fed up with my 9th period class that I decided "we needed to talk." We spent the better half of Monday’s class discussing ways in which we could improve the classroom environment together and, to tell you the truth, our discussion was extremely successful. I asked them what they thought we needed to work on and how we could work on it. We came up with a new, simple set of rules and corresponding consequences. It seemed like the students were just as frustrated by the lack of structure as I was. Isn’t that weird? And all this time I thought the exact opposite.

My department chair came in to observe class on Wednesday – just to see how the kids behave and react – not an officially observation or anything, she said. Believe it or not, the kids were angels! I was shocked and surprised, but then I considered the situation. They knew the other teacher was sitting in the back of the classroom, so perhaps it was all an act. But then on Thursday, they were really good again. Who are they and what on earth did they do with my class?

Now that that’s worked out a bit, I’m struggling with another one of my classes. I feel like every time I accomplish something and feel good about the way things are, something else goes wrong. Why is that?

Anyway, this other class of mine, well, they are so lethargic and unenthusiastic about everything. They seem to have the winter blues. Maybe I’ll take in candy for them this week and bribe them. Worked for Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds, didn’t it? It’s worth a try.

As for me (aside from school), I have been feeling very disorganized lately, which stresses me out ridiculously. I DETEST being disorganized. (I feel like I’m so behind with grading papers, too, which stresses me out even more, but that’s a story for another day.) My desk/office cubicle I created here at home is almost unrecognizable. It looks like my desk threw up. Papers are spewed everywhere. There is not an inch of open space, and I can’t seem to find anything I’m looking for. The problem is, I am running out of room. This house is too small and I have too much stuff. I’d try to organize it all but I have no place to go with it all. And I’m getting better at not being a packrat; I swear all the stuff that’s here I need for something. I swear.


  • At February 22, 2005 at 9:17 PM, Blogger msteacherblog said…

    I'm glad to here things are geting better.

  • At February 25, 2005 at 12:44 PM, Blogger Jules the Crazy said…

    Oh goodness, it's not you that's the problem--it's the stuff. Packrat or no, there's just too much crap that a teacher has! I have piles upon piles of papers--all important and needing saving. Yeesh.

  • At February 25, 2005 at 5:57 PM, Blogger kevster said…

    Hey, I'm glad it's worked out for you. I haven't really gotten to talk to you about the 9th period intervention, that's awesome. As for the exploding desk - let me tell you! Man...if you only knew how all 3 of my desks look...talk about not being able to find anything. I still manage to fake it through though.

    Have a great weekend!!!

  • At March 8, 2005 at 5:38 AM, Blogger Nancy said…

    Is there a Container Store near where you live? That place is awesome and they really do have every sort of container, so they have an excellent office supplies section. Anyway, you're not the only one. I have teacher crap everywhere, too!

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