Several things made today difficult. First, for first time in three years I was headed to a different school than my children attend! I kept checking myself as I drove - was I going the right way? Had I left someone behind that I was supposed to have with me? It was truly surreal.
Today was also more difficult because I was in a room full of students who really didn't know me. The only kids who talked were the kids who always talk. And not knowing their names yet made it sooo much harder to cold call - especially since the ones who didn't want to be called on we're busy not making eye contact.
I'm also sad because my lesson wasn't as fun as I'd hoped. We're block, and I've got three more chances at it tomorrow. The kids were fine. Nobody was beligerint or rude, or ill-behaved. Nobody talked while I was talking, but it was an eerie sort of quiet. Definitely not full-out participation, and definitely not like good-kid compliant kind of quiet. I felt like a number of them were just biding time. "Ok, lady, I'll write it down but whatever..." Not fun at all. Sigh...
I'm exhausted. And it was only the first day. Plus I was ugly to my own kid. She needed parenting, and I was so tired I just scolded. Meanly. It makes me heart hurt to be this way, and makes me wonder if I have it in me to survive another year. I will, because I have to. And it will get better, because it has to. But it isn't obvious yet just how.
The one bright shining moment was when a handful of my students from last year spilled out of the room next to mine. One said, "Mrs Phillips! K was the only one from our school that didn't answer any of the teacher's questions! She was the only one of us not participating! You've got to get on her!" It made me happy to know that they had arrived at high school 1) owning their learning by participating in class, 2) confident enough to speak up in math class, and 2) still looking out for each other. I just have to remind myself that there was a time those kids didn't know me either. And look how far they've come. I guess I might be able to salvage this year yet. After all, I've still got 179 days to turn it around!