I have normally stuck with blogging about overarching principles: society, or God, or some political issue. It's the stuff my mind gravitates towards, and it interests me, and I could spend more time than I should writing about it. But I'm sort of consumed these days with what are for me some major challenges at work, and I think it's time after spending most of my posts weighing in on the world's problems that I share my own.
I'm having a hard school year.
For the last four years, at my previous school, teaching 4th and 5th graders to read took most of my time and energy. I taught about 10 kids to read each year, which was deeply gratifying, life changing, and really fun work.
The group of sixth graders I have this year is overwhelming. I've spent hours designing and implementing behavioral plans that aren't producing any noticeable result. I have a boy who calls me names and refuses or resists doing his work, or anything appropriate, all day. Today he showed up to school at 11:30 without a book bag and acted as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Everyone at the school knows his family and tells me he'll just get worse as the years go on. I have a girl who within the first six weeks has spread the rumor that she herself is pregnant, slapped and pushed two other girls, and come to school with hickies (sp? I've never needed to spell that til now!) She got suspended today, so I have a one week reprieve. I have another boy who is full of potential but doesn't like to work. He just mopes around the room as slowly as you can imagine, and starts looking for his materials right when everyone else is finishing. I have another boy with impulsivity issues; he shouts out whatever comes to mind. I don't know how well you remember sixth grade, but the things that run through a sixth grader's mind should not be shouted.
Yesterday things boiled to a head. I lost control of my own classroom. I could not teach and did not know how to respond to how the kids were acting. This is my 7th full school year as a teacher and it felt like my first week. I have no answers.
I've been praying for salvation. You know how David constantly asks for or thanks God for His salvation throughout the Psalms? Well that's what I'm asking for. I don't know if God will save me from this situation, or if He'll bring me an idea that will save me from it's messiness. I don't know if He will save me by strengthening me to endure or if He will save my students from their hellish lives. I do believe that it is He who saves, and I know that I have no idea how to go forward.
And that's where I am
Coming soon: MY MESS, Part 2: A Boon on the Road