1.28.2010

Mid-Week Quotables

"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. 

6 comments:

Kimberly Joy said...

:(

Corey Scogin said...

Yeah, those kids should learn that the bathroom stall is the place for such comments, not the textbook! ;)

I remember writing such things as a kid. Most often my written sentiment didn't hold true after a few days. I still tend toward such things now though I would disguise it as "righteous indignation" instead of anger.

Beth Ables said...

Oh, Elaine. I know this feeling so so well...
I realize every day I'm around middle schoolers that they are trying on new personalities and behaviors each day, figuring out who they are. They test language, boundaries, reactions...and we're right there--easy targets.
Yet, the 11th graders I teach are the same way, only I can level with them--as if they have their heads above their drowning hormones, gasping for air.
I always tell myself that the day I'm numb to all of it--the joy and the pain of teaching--is the day I'll quit. Keep hurting for, laughing with, and praying for these kids.
You're not in this alone.

Tee K said...

Elaine,
If there is one thing you are NOT, it's that! Just know that that kid probably feels that way about someone in his life who it isn't safe to express it to. You are a safe person...you're awesome!

MaryEllen said...

At least whoever it was used "senora" correctly.. they've learned something... lol.. Keep your chin up! As Beth said~ middle schoolers are dealing with so much. I'm convinced they are no quite in control of anything.. emotions, frustrations, their bodies etc... Luckly me I'm living with one!!

Candis said...

Mrs. Davis,

I was also called a b!%#$ by one of my 5th graders when I was student teaching. Except he said it to my face. It hurt. But, like you said, it does boil down to anger and their lack of experience in dealing with those emotions. Praying that we can look past that anger and see the hurt and desperate need these students have for love.

I know I'd like to have you for a teacher:)

Ms. Garner