The Author

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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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trying to have a positive attitude...

... but it is hard.

Vinny still says that kindergarten is more fun than preschool... and it is only the second day, but he is not having the easiest time.

Today he said that a boy ran up and messed up his hair. This is sort of a big deal to Vinny. He likes it spiked and made a big deal about it this morning. He wanted to make sure it looked just like yesterday (apparently he liked it) and asked several times if it looked just like yesterday. He said a boy ran up to him on the playground and messed it all up (and it does look like that is exactly what happened). Marc asked, "Did you say anything?" and Vinny replied, "Yes, I said, 'Stop!'" Marc continued, "Did he stop?" Vinny said that he did... but I could see in his eyes that the damage had been done.

We asked who he played with on the playground, and he said no one. He played by himself, because he doesn't know anyone. We suggested he attempt to play with some other kids and he insisted that he did try today, but they "didn't listen," so he played by himself. I am having terrible flashbacks to elementary school. I have to admit that my favorite part of recess as a kid was when the bell would ring. My drama students did a play last semester called "Surviving Lunch," that I have to admit I partially picked because the title resonated with me so much.

Although I know he is a little shy, and he is a little hard to understand, so friends are not going to come easy to him, I also need to remember that it is only the second day, and that he is incredibly resilient. Stuff bounces right off of him. When a kid in preschool declared he wasn't Vinny's friend any more, I told Vinny not to be too sad and he replied, "I'm not sad. I'm still his friend, even if he doesn't want to be mine." He is still having a good time. He will keep trying. And when he does eventually connect with someone, he will probably have a good friend, because he IS a good friend. He cares about his friends, he is good at sharing, he is not bossy, and he has a fun personality. When kids get to know him, I have to believe they will want to be his friends.

I think that writing this is more therapeutic for me than anything else.

Meanwhile... on the high school front, I had a somewhat frustrating day. For some reason, half of my 5th period wandered in late. It is as if they feel that they can be late because I am on the other side of the building and they are coming from break, not just a passing period. I am going to have to stand outside on Thursdays and pass out detention slips and make every kid who walks in late give me that much time from their lunch. There were literally so many of them this time that it was practically impossible to record. As I was writing down names, I am certain I missed a bunch. There were just too many to count, which is ridiculous. Then they took forever to settle down and were squirrelly all period. I normally don't have a problem with classroom management, but this class is making me crazy. They are so talkative and get distracted so easily. There is always one like this. Last year it was first period. This year my first period is a dream. To make matters worse... I was being observed. Boo.

I am behind on lesson planning and have a ton of papers coming in today/tomorrow. I have got to catch up somehow.

Someone remind me to breathe.

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