Overcoming

Let’s face it. We all have those days. You know, those days when you mentally compose your resignation letter and perhaps plot your last day’s revenge? Last Friday was one for me. I have been working with kids to get work turned in to avoid getting progress reports. Very slow stuff happening. I gave what I thought was a simple quiz so that it could be used as a grade raiser. Turns out it wasn’t so simple. I do have an out, though: I made a mistake setting up the quiz – online of course – and forgot to leave a place for kids to put their name. Good thing I’m the smart tech teacher, eh? I was shaking me head at that mistake when I ran the grading program to see how kids were doing. Grades were not looking good.

If one or two grades are not good, then I’m upset, but not too worried. When almost everyone fails the test there is only one place to look. I had to ask myself what I did wrong in teaching it. So, since the basic concept is important, guess who gets to re-teach…or perhaps I should say, teach it right this next week.

So already feeling bad about myself, I ended up with issues with kids and their behavior. I work hard not to write kids up. I’ll be honest. If I have to write a kid up, I feel like I’m signing my own failure notice. A referral means that I have failed to reach that kid. Many kids needing referrals means that I have really failed. It was suggested by someone I respect greatly, my principal, that I need to write more people up because they need to learn consequences. Yes, I know that…so it looks like I’ll be signing more of my own failure notices this next week.

I was thinking, “you know, this IS my possible retirement year. I can retire.” I wasn’t plotting my revenge, but I was trying to figure out how to tell my principal that I was going to retire. I promised her I wouldn’t. It wasn’t going to be easy.

Then I got home and was trying to set up Saturday’s chess tournament. (Thus, no posting Friday night) After doing a little bit of  work, I told my wife that we were going to try out the new Sam’s club because they HAD to have some Boston Cream Pie, and a place that large had to carry it. We went. THERE WAS NO BOSTON CREAM PIE!!!! REALLY??? No one in Corpus Christi can carry Boston Cream Pie? That’s my favorite comfort food and no one has it. Yep, I was NOT happy.

Then, I went back to work on the tournament. Computer hardware problems galore. Computer software problems galore. What should have taken 10 or 15 minutes to set up and import names into the computer didn’t work. So, I had to enter every one individually. Fortunately the tournament was smaller than normal and it only took me a couple of hours once I finally gave up trying to do it the easy way. (And my wife even tried to help, too.)

Late night work. I finally got finished and went to sleep. Somehow, the sleep refreshed me enough that I woke up reinvigorated. Don’t worry fearless leader. I’m not ready to retire anymore. I have kids to reach. I am going to redesign. I am going to change how things happen. I will overcome..and in the process I will see my students succeed. I have never been a quitter and I’m not ready to quit now. It’s not going to be easy, of course, but I refuse to give in. I refuse to fail. That doesn’t mean we won’t have small failures along the way. It means that eventually the kids will win because they will learn from a teacher they helped make better.

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