Today was a rough day, but I'm not going to let bad moments ruin my whole mood or day. I teach only 5th graders on Fridays and they are usually my favorite bunch out of all the grades I teach, but today I had a few moments that made me pretty upset. My students see me as the fun, laid back teacher because that is who I try to be with them. Even so, I make it clear that they have to earn and keep that kind of teacher. I don't tolerate or accept repeat offenses of disrespect once I've called you out on your actions. But today, I had a few kids try to push their luck with me, and I had to make them into examples of what happens when you go too far. There is a time to play, and a time to shut up and listen to the teacher, but today they didn't seem to understand that or they just didn't care, and I really couldn't put up with it.
I find that the best punishment is public speaking in front of the class. I figure if they like to talk, then let me give them a chance to do so in English, and the trouble makers are usually the ones lacking in their skills so it kills two birds with one stone. Once I tell a student to stop, I do not repeat myself. If they do not stop then they have to do some sort of extra task or present something in class, and I had to do that a lot today. I have these two boys that sit in the front of the class, and they are always goofing off and playing around. I'm okay with a little of both, but when it is incessant and disruptive I put a stop to it. I was nice and gave them two warnings but they didn't get it so I made them stand up, and repeat every single answer on the worksheet over and over in front of everyone. If they messed up, they had to repeat it, and then I made them sit back down and the silence from both of them was awesome. Even their classmates called them out on their behavior.
My students know I don't usually get upset or mad when it comes to them, because they don't usually push me that far, but today they saw another side of me. Not just these two students, but some other ones in other classes. I talked to all of them after class too, and made them explain their behavior. Of course they are always silent then with no explaination. I told them if they come to class next time and disrupt me when I am teaching they will be disciplined a lot worse. If they think I'm joking they better think again. I was fuming over all the nonsense that happened today, that I couldn't even finish lunch. You know what is really ridiculous is that I feel bad when I have to punish a student. I always feel guilty over such things, even though they deserved it, and that just makes me even more mad.
I'm feeling better/calmer after teaching my 4th graders. They made me laugh a lot and all the tension is mostly gone. I think it is good for them to see me be a little mean once in awhile so they don't get out of line too often. Plus, I try to make it an educational punishment. Moving on...
The weather is fabulous for the second day in a row, and I am hoping it stays like this all weekend so I can do some exploring. I'm just itching to walk around new places, take pictures, and just soak up the good weather. Oh, I took my yearbook photo for the graduating 6th graders, and I'm hoping I can get a copy of the yearbook. It would be a nice way to remember my students once this semester is over. I've been looking into the renewal process, and it is a lot more complicated this time around with the new visa regulations so I want to get started on that ASAP to make sure I have no problems in the future.
I just feel really stressed today for external reasons, and I am counting down the minutes till school is over so I can watch something funny, cook myself something delicious, and do some journaling. It would really help if I was a cold hearted person, because then I could ignore the mess people make around me, but I can't. I've always cared too much, and that's not going to change just because I'm far from home. I'm just going to try and do my best, because I can't do more than that.
I've been really tired this week, recovering from a cold and another bout of tonsilitis. I'm doing better, but my body is still achy from being sick and the ever changing weather. Last night I got home from work to discover I hadn't closed my fridge all the way and I had to throw away quite a few things since the fridge had been like this for over 8 hours. It wasn't working so I turned to Google for answers and read something about unplugging it for 20 minutes and then plugging it back in, it worked!!!
I was really worked up over some things so I cleaned my whole apartment to de-stress after fixing my fridge. I went to take out the trash, and as I walked to the trash area I looked up at the dark starless sky and thought that as long as I keep trying everything will figure itself out. No matter what the problem is it can't cover the whole sky, it can't diminish the sun, or hide the moon. It's manageable and solvable.
This week I've been thinking a lot about what makes me feel the most free and trying to make sure those places, things, and people are constanstly in my orbit. I want to feel free all the time, but I don't know if that's really possible. It's something to strive for though. I don't want to someone who lives just to survive, dreading what each day brings, apprehensive and pensive. I never want to be that kind of person. I want to wake up and look forward to what could happen, go through my day learning from the good and bad moments...having that kind of positive attitude and mindset.
I'm a firm believer that the state of your mind determines the state of your life. Life is always going to have pitfalls and roadblocks but if you see things in a positive way then you have the willpower and determination to get up, find another way, and just not give up. I guess I've just been thinking a lot about things like that this week.
I'm falling asleep at my desk, so I'll end with wishing all of you a sunny and lovely weekend:)