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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May is Not Good

I do not like Spring.


Spring is not a good season.

According to my boss, I am not alone in this. He commented that Spring can actually be the most depressing time of the year.

I dislike Spring for many reasons. It is always just beyond chaotic. For some reason, it seems that people always choose not to plan anything in the Winter (other than Christmas), and then plan events and parties and stuff during the Spring. Since Marc's job is way event-based, it means he works far more weekends during Spring than any other time of the year. Even overall, it just makes for this super chaotic time where everyone is pulled in 10 million directions. Plus, people are just in weird moods.

Anyway.... it is May, and I want to crawl into bed and not wake up until June. Even Vinny agrees. He keeps asking me when it is going to be summer. I tried to tell him it is over a month away, and he just said, "Is that a long time?" When I said no, he didn't believe me. I don't know if I believe me.

Today was way emotional. My drama students have been preparing one acts, which were student-directed- three of them, to be precise. They were each to act in one and serve as crew in the others, but pretty much none of them took the crew jobs seriously, and many of them just didn't take the whole thing seriously at all, blowing off a lot of rehearsals. Needless to say, it didn't come together last week. Two of them were relatively easy, but one of them was satire, which is difficult in and of itself, and way prop-based humor, and the tech and everything just never came together. It was far from funny, and leaning towards offensive. In the interest of keeping my job, I decided to cancel the satire.

It did not go over well with the students. They just felt it was very unfair and wanted desperately for there to be "justice." They wanted for the people who had not come through for crew and made their play fall apart to have to pay for it somehow. On the same token, those who had put forth a ton of work only to not be able to perform didn't want to have to stay for late rehearsals all week just to be crew for a bunch of actors who had been unwilling to be crew for them. It made me sad, but they have a right to feel like they feel.

I fell apart in my boss' office and cried today. We talked to the students. Then I talked to my drama class and asked them to make some decisions. After a lot of emotion, they decided to scrap the whole show, and to try to get it together for some performances during the benchmark exams, as their benchmark exam, to present to other classes. I am so sad for them. Even though so much of the responsibility for this is on their shoulders, I feel like I failed them for not planning it better. Had I not attempted to get SO much out of them, I would have gotten something, and I would have gotten something quality.

Lesson learned. In so many ways, lesson learned.

The class learned the importance of crew. I have been trying to teach them this for years. Those who have always acted and never done crew did not at all appreciate how important it is to have dedicated crew people. They would yell at them, get frustrated at them really easily, expect that they would just do everything, blame missing props on them, etc. They all really admitted today that if they have learned anything from this, they have learned to appreciate crew.

I learned that expecting too much from my students is setting them up for failure. I also realized I really can't do this alone. I have so little support as the drama teacher. When I did musical theater a year ago, I had the music teacher's support. I didn't have that this time, and doing three shows actually turned out to be next to impossible. No, scratch that- it was impossible. It just didn't come together.

I feel guilty for the hurt feelings. I feel guilty that I feel slightly relieved. There is still so much on my plate right now, I can't even really feel relaxed. Now, I just have to focus on getting through the next month.

I can do this... I can do this... I can do this...

If I tell myself enough, will I believe it?

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