Monday, March 24, 2014

24/31 Totally Unacceptable



I blew up today.

At a kid, with more anger issues than I have ever dealt with. He didn't have an assignment done that he had plenty of class time to do. And then, when he wasn't ready on Friday, I gave him over the weekend. Today, he still wasn't ready. The consequence was that he was to stay with me after school and get it done. He knew that Friday. Today, I got all the excuses why he couldn't. Today, I got all the ways he was going to get around the system. Today, I blew up.

I said the one thing I shouldn't have said.

I screamed, "I'm done."

At least I was in the office where other students couldn't hear me.

I can't remember being more unprofessional in my life. I'm embarrassed about it.  I'm sad about it. I'm still frustrated. Blowing up did no good whatsoever. And it certainly didn't help the student.

Was I right to be frustrated.
Yes.

Have I given this student everything he needs, every opportunity to get the work done.
Yes.

Should I have reacted like I did.
Absolutely not.
It was totally unacceptable.

I apologized to several people, the student first and foremost.

But I can never take back those words, even if I didn't mean them.

Because I am most certainly not done….

14 comments:

  1. The great thing about kids is they forgive and forget easily. The great thing about teaching is teachers get to try again tomorrow. You will get past this because you took time to reflect and I can tell from your writing, you will try harder tomorrow. So don't beat yourself up too badly. We've all been there. Have a great Tuesday!' :)

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  2. Maybe it didn't help either of you right then, maybe it will help on the long run. That student may or may not get his homework done for you or other people, but maybe he learned that people won;t go on giving endless chances or help. At some point, if he does nothing, the chances or help might dry up.

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  3. Your first line really grabbed me, because I couldn't imagine you blowing up. It's strangely comforting to know that even you have days when you've just HAD IT! Knowing the kind of teacher you are, I know you'll find a million ways to show this kid (and all your others) that you are never, ever done. Thanks for being willing to be vulnerable to us.

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  4. For sure we have all been there Deb. We give and give and give that at some point you feel taken advantage of -- and that is never our intentions. You followed up with apologizes and I know you will continue to follow up with this student. But hopefully now this student will also step up and see how much you DO care! Thank you for sharing today and being so open and honest.

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  5. I am so sorry about your rough day. You, like me, are human and will/do make mistakes. There is great value in modeling what to do when one makes an error.You showed this child how to apologize. He knows this isn't the way you normally act with him and That is what makes the biggest impression.

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  6. We've all been there or we will be at some point. I think it's okay to be human and let our emotions out. It's what we do after that point that makes or breaks our character. It sounds like you definitely responded in a positive way to the negative situation. Sometimes it helps others to know that we are all human and it's okay to make mistakes. Letting your kids know you are not perfect may even help them to relate a little bit better to you. Tomorrow is a new day. Go into it and brighten your world.
    Thanks for being so honest and transparent with us.

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  7. I understand this, Deb. I feel like I struggle with this often with my four-year-old. I feel yucky and uglier than ugly after I blow up because of his I'm-still-learning (but gaming you)-antics. I applaud you for being so transparent in your post tonight...and I'm hopeful that putting your thoughts on paper was cathartic. Tomorrow will be better... b

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  8. Thank you for sharing. Your honesty helps us all. These moments happen...here is how to handle it.

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  9. I actually think you modeled some real life to him. If the student were younger, I would think differently, but the bottom line is he will fail, or someday get fired, and won't have extra weekends to make it up. I wonder if this won't get through. But, it eats at your heart to lose it, I know. I've been there too, Deb. Like other above, it's nice that you shared.

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  10. I know that as a teacher you should have stayed calm, but I think that for the students it may have been good to see you as a person with emotions. I hope that he will get his assignment done and turned in.

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  11. I had a moment like that few years ago. This girl never did work in class so I don't know why I thought she'd do a home assignment. After lots of extended deadlines and offerings of extra help, and even working on the assignment with her, she had nothing. And when asked to explain she just hung her head and stared at the floor. I just turned and walked away and moved on. I question all the time: Should I have pushed harder? Have a made her think that assignments really do go away if you just ignore them long enough? I don't know...

    I agree with others: It was good for him to see your frustration, and for him to hear your apology.

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  12. I totally get why you did that, why you think it was unacceptable, and why you apologized. Yet, we've all been there. I haven't screamed this year, but my head has. Sometimes I look at kids and wonder if I'm setting them up to fail later. I can give them a million chances, but the world won't. That doesn't mean I stop trying, but at some point they need to care too. If it's all on you, you are the one carrying the load. He needs to join in. Getting that to actually happen, however, is the part that is so hard. Wishing you well. Be easy on yourself. I hope he realizes how blessed he is to have you in his life.

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  13. I'm hoping the student will fathom all this tomorrow, some day. We're all human even great teachers. I think you have just been renewed--again. Thanks for reading my posts even though I'm not "out there" so to speak.

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  14. I've said those words before - and just like you, I've realized I've said them so vehemently because I am absolutely NOT done.

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