"Senora iz a b!%#$ from the entire 6th grade."
Yep, that's right. Scrawled into the back inside cover of one of my Spanish textbooks. And not so tactfully edited, I might add. Welcome to the not so glamourous side of teaching middle school students. I guess something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, and my reaction is mixed. It's hard not to take something like this personally, to avoid wondering, "does the entire 6th grade really think that about me?" "Golly, what did I do to make a student so mad?". But then what I realize is that it's not about me. A lot of what it boils down to is my students are constantly confessing to me that they have no idea how to maintain self control in the face of one, raging emotion: Anger. It leads to fights, both physical and verbal, causes them to become so distracted and upset that they can't concentrate in class, and I suppose leads to destructive behavior such as treating a textbook like a bathroom stall. And when I think about that I'm moved to pray for my students and I'm reminded of my own need for the Lord to prepare my heart every day to deal with my own anger and frustration in a way that sets an example for them of self-control, gentleness, perspective, and love.