Now that the fog is clearing, I'm able to look back at last week and see the positive things that happened. (Yes, I noticed them at the time, but they were overshadowed by the drama!)
First and foremost...even though this is going to be out of order, chronologically....is that:
MY BROTHER IS ENGAGED!!!
He proposed to his girlfriend this weekend...and she said "Yes" !!!!!!!!
I am so pumped about having another girl in the family...especially considering the fact that she has volunteered for induction into this group of crazies! Please, God. Don't let her come to her senses until waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy after she's said "I do".... in 50 years or so, maybe!
She's been known to drop by and read my blog, so let's give her a big welcome, shall we?
Welcome to the Family, MissErin!! I hope you're ready for the ride!
Sunday (a week ago):
Had incredible God-time at church. The worship was incredible. The sermon was about being servant-minded...an idea I had been thinking about the previous week. The pastor talked about "serving others for Christ does not always produce predictable results".......and........."serving others for Christ involves being touched by the sin of those we serve".
Yeah. You'd have thought I would've hid under a rock this past week....given that I had full, advance warning of what this week was going to be like, huh?
I spent the entire sermon feeling like the pastor was reading my mail. It felt like God was giving me that little *whap* on the back of the head. I was continuously saying "check.....check...." I left feeling very affirmed in what I'm doing, as well as how I'm doing it.
I realize there are some teachers who go to work, stand in front of the class, lecture, and leave without getting too deeply involved in those kids' lives. I also realize that someone who does that might very well think I'm a soft-touch for "falling" for their stories, and letting them get to me.
What I know for sure, is that I am simply not wired to disconnect my heart from my daily life at my "job". I've tried doing that before, and it was a miserable experience. So......even though at times it can be painful, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.
Apparently, one of my students in my 1st period Speech class has been having some attendance issues. Imagine my surprise when his mom walks into class with him!!
I was a little rattled at first when she introduced herself, and explained why she was there...all I could think was, "Where can I send her....I don't know about this...what if she complains to the admin. about me being a smartass to the kids..."
Thankfully, I managed to keep it together on the outside. I welcomed her...told her I enjoyed having her son in class...asked about her daughter (who I'd had the previous 2 years) and told her to let me know if she had any questions.
I had a really positive experience with that class!! We were discussing the chapter, and they were really involved and participating. I have one kid who is a GOMER and constantly says things that should really be kept to himself. He's incredibly bright, and has a great sense of humor....so he handles it well when I "roast" him for being Gomer-esque. Which is good, because it's become second-nature to me -- so much so, that I didn't even realize I was doing it until I was finished, and the entire class (including Gomer) was laughing.
And THEN I remembered that there was a Mom in the back. I glanced back...expecting to see her drafting her complaint letter...and saw her laughing, too!!
Last period that day was tough. I have a girl who brings a ton of "baggage" with her to school everyday. I had her about 2 years ago...and she opened up to me about the drama going on with her. Although we developed a rapport and could talk through some of the craziness...she still couldn't get it together, and ended up getting sent to our alternative school.
This semester, she showed up on the roll for my English class that I'm co-teaching...and swore to me that "this time, I'm not playing around, Miss". So, after a conversation about how "the old stuff isn't gonna cut it"... I let her stay.
She has been a thorn in my coteacher's side from the get-go. CoTeach was being patient with her...giving her the benefit of the doubt...giving her a chance as a favor to me.
Wednesday, I had to have 2 separate conversations in the hall with BaggageGirl about her behavior and how it was disrespectful to CoTeach AND me. I appealed to our history together, and asked her to please see things from my point of view. She stonewalled me. I got nothing - no apology, no explanation, no eye contact. Finally, I told her she was leaving me no choice but to get her a schedule change. Still, nothing.
Thursday morning found me in her counselor's office requesting her schedule change. This counselor and I have a great relationship...she's Buggy/Crazybrother's counselor, too....so she knows that when I say I'm done with a student, that it means I've tried everything. Everything. She did the schedule change. I was relieved...sad to have to admit defeat...but relieved, nonetheless.
While I was in with the counselor, I told her about my getting a 'new' student last time in my 2nd period class -- which put it at 30. When I have 27 desks. (and ALL of the chillrun COME to class -- no skippers!) I asked if all the other classes were that crowded. She looked at the numbers of the other Eng. III classes that period.
22. 23. 24.
Get this: The 'new' kid was moved by another counselor from a class that had 6 spots in it. To mine. Because she thought I would "help him pass so he could stay eligible" for basketball.
During 2nd period that day, I talked to the packed house about the fact that a few of them were going to be packing the U-haul and moving to a new home. And that, if they were the ones to get a schedule change, not to think I don't love 'em....but to realize that I want what's best for them....a NON-crowded class.
I went in to see CrankyCounselor about her reasons for moving BBallBoy. Her response? "He requested you." She was totally nonplussed by the fact that it put me at 30 when everyone else is sitting so low. (Since when is 24 "low" by the way?)
"Your class cap is at 30. If your room is so small, that should be noted in the computer."
I. very. calmly. explained to her that any of the English III teachers are going to give him a quality education...and that I don't care if a student requests me -- if it's going to put my numbers so disproportionate to the other classes, the student should be told "No." Or...at least told, "Let me check with Ms. H." I also told her that a few kids were about to be moved out, and I didn't see letting him stay over a kid who's been there longer. Her response? "I'll look at it."
Naw, heifer....you'll look at it while you're doing it! Or I'll get his AP to do it. You pick.
Thankfully, that stayed INSIDE my head. *grin*
And yes, I realize that that conversation was not necessarily a positive and uplifiting moment. But it sure did make me feel better. Especially when I told the SeniorAP and she congratulated me on standing my ground. You gotta love when being 'scrappy' is valued!!