Thursday, August 21, 2008

And I cried

By the time yesterday rolled around I had 30 kids in my classroom. Yes, you read that right - 30. Thir-tee. We had kids all but spilling out of the windows. The tables were chock full of kids, shoulder to shoulder, and oh yes, the poop smell was even more concentrated than before.

But Teacher Next Door assured me that when the new classroom opened, things would be better. Even Cousin Courtney, whose class this actually is, assured me that all would be well (Because I call her every night after school). I had high hopes.

Oh, but they underestimated the power of Kindergarten. They are veteran teachers and I highly value their opinions, but I don't think this is your average class and therefore all assumptions and previous experience is null and void. Seriously. Or maybe I'm just a weenie.

Today it was like someone took the children, turned them feral, gave them meth and put ants in their pants. And then told them to make me cry.

'Cause they did.

I have sent them off to PE or Music at the same time every day for five days now and they've always done great. Teachers they meet along the way praise them for being so quiet and well-behaved, but today as I started the line they took off running like someone had lit their hineys on fire. By the time I caught up with them my blood was boiling and another teacher had to come help me get them all together again because I was just about to lose it all over the place. My shoulders had to be slumped as I trudged back to the classroom for 25 minutes of quiet.

I opened the door to the classroom to find Teacher Next Door, Cousin Courtney (with Nonner!) and Mrs. Coumadin waiting for me. You know how when you're not feeling well and your mom calls to check on you and you bust into tears because she's your momma and all? Well, Courtney asked if today had been better and that's when I called those children a bad name and started crying. And while it felt good to say a long-lost cuss word, it just made me cry harder knowing that I had just cussed. And had said it about a classroom full of four and five years olds at that!

Before I started this whole substituting adventure, Cousin Courtney told me that I would either come away from it loving teaching Kindergarten or hating it. I honestly thought she was overexaggerating by a long shot. Turns out, she was SO right. And turns out, I HATE IT. There is no middle ground. Middle ground is a farce. There is only insanity (loving it) or a headache and tears (hating it).

I cried for awhile in front of two relative strangers who looked somewhat uncomfortable and they all reassured me that it was normal that they kids acted like this because we had just taken ten of their friends out of the classroom, sent them across the hall and then I actually tried to, you know, TEACH THEM. It was so far out of the norm for them they didn't know how to handle it all. Big babies.

So after I dried up the tears and snuggled Nonner for a few minutes (oh my gosh, that child smells like Heaven) (Viva la Baby Magic!) I felt a little better, but ya know, my psyche was bruised, my self-esteem was shot and frankly, I was just in need of a nap and make a blankie. Maybe a teddy bear or 16, too.

The afternoon was a smidge better, but not much. Never in my life did I dream that 20 would be worse than 30. Never.

Paul and Abby stayed home from work and school today because they both have the stomach virus that is blazing a trail through the county. All I can do now is pray for diarrhea, dehydration and a hospital stay we can't afford. Go virus!


Lady Beekeeper said...

Take it from an old teacher - part of what you are feeling is fatigue and I'm willing to bet you are coming down with something. When you are first exposed to that many kids, you drop like a rock. Give a little time and try to keep an open mind. Let us know!

Anonymous said...

On the plus side___you didn't have to take all 30 of them to the fair!

Unknown said...

All I have is, "Bless your heart!!!", because teaching school is something I am admittedly incapable of doing (ignoring the fact that I am now homeschooling, as my one plus my toddler is not the same as 20 or 30 of someone else's kids). That may be the longest sentence I have ever written!

Hang in there - it will be over soon, right? I kind of agree with Penny in that you may actually be getting sick and not realize it. Now imagine 30 kids exposed to the stomach virus..oh, my, I just got an evil chuckle out of that one. You cuss four and five year olds, I laugh when they may be exposed to illness...maybe I need a nap, too...

Anonymous said...

Face it, small children are little bastards. It's just not "proper" to say so out loud. But they are, and we all know it. You went to Wyandotte. You know that 95% of the faculty HATED kids. With a passion. I just assumed it was part of the requirements. Just pick out one fat kid (preferably with stupid hair) and make his life hell. That always seemed to work.

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