Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Final Countdown

5 days of teaching left in my first year of being an 8th grade Science Teacher at Compton-Drew Elementary; a middle school in St. Louis, MO.

I find it hard to imagine saying goodbye to a lot of my students. Frustrating as they can be, I've learned just as much from them as (I hope) they've learned from me this year. That being said, I've come closer than ever before to ripping their darling little heads off in the last week. I think it's because as the end rushes near, I've been realizing that some of the leaps and bounds I thought I made with them- in terms of both behavior and academics- were just a pipe dream. I watch them do the same stupid things that they did at the beginning of the year (throw classroom materials at one another and then lie about it to avoid- gasp- picking it up), and I hear them speaking more vulgarly than ever, when I'm standing right next to them. It's not me they're swearing at or about, but I take it as a personal jab that they don't have enough respect for me to speak politely IN MY PRESENCE. Ironically, here I sit complaining about what my students have not yet learned, when clearly, I have not yet learned the most important teacher lesson of all: don't take it personally. Maybe one day I'll get there.

When I see or hear these things I find myself lashing out more angrily and loudly than ever before this year. Why do I think I can change them with 5 days left? What can yelling them into submission really teach them? The answer of course is nothing. Be that as it may, I am getting angry just writing this, and thinking about the things they do and say.

Bottom line is, if there were any more than 5 instructional days left (1.5 weeks after that, but each day has a scheduled graduation activity), I would probably kill one of them.

Thank God being a teacher comes with a summer vacation.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

La-de-da, La-de-da...

What is it about spring that just makes you wanna...dance?

For the last few weekends I have had one single aspiration: to find myself in the middle of a pulsating throng of people and to lose my mind and body to any kind of music, really- terrible (or fantastic?) pop music, rap, hipster electronica- I don't care. Like the inspiration for Keb Mo's greatest hit, "She Just Wants to Dance," I've got a one track mind. And I must say I've done a pretty good job of satisfying that desire at least once a weekend for the past couple of weeks, despite the lack of good dance clubs that afflicts the good ole' Lou (needless to say, I've done some significant standard lowering in order to meet my goal). This past Friday I even managed to have a lot of fun at the "Lodge," behind Morgan Street Brewery, though it boasted, by far, the dampest dance floor, the ugliest crowd, and the worst music of any club I've been to for a while. Nonetheless I enthusiactically put my hands "uuup" for both Beyonce and Miley, without a second's delay.

Perhaps it is the increased amount of pheromones in the air, or the inverse relationship between temperature and the amount of clothing necessary to be comfortable. Or maybe my body is trying to declare independence from my mind as the end of a grueling, no fun possible work schedule is drawing very near. Whatever it is, I'll just have to soldier forth, like a woman possessed... if you know any good dance spots in St. Louis, please let me know.