Feeling isolated is a formidable, yet common feeling that many teachers experience throughout a school year. I have decided to maintain a short, weekly journal, outlining my feelings, failures, and some successes in my classroom. It is my hope that this may help any teachers who need to know they aren’t alone in their experience.
I am feeling encouraged! Much of my anxiety from last week has improved, and I am beginning to feel a bit more comfortable with our new schedules and procedures. I am also very encouraged because, unlike last year, I have been able to handle student behaviors so far this year with in-class strategies!
I am also feeling tired. I need to take better care of myself – especially going to sleep earlier. I have been working hard on keeping up with my family, and some other projects after they go to sleep. I need to do better with my health so this onslaught of germs I am currently experiencing doesn’t get the best of me.
Already I have a few strained relationships with a few students. I raised my voice a few times this week, and put more edge on some comments because my patience was thin. I am certain there are a few students who are not looking forward to my class next week. I have some relationship repairing to do.
There are still a few times of the day that the hallways near my room don’t look the way they should. Students are getting to class late, running, yelling, etc. We teachers need to band together get these hallways in shape – because if they don’t improve by next week, a cultural environment will be set and it will be a long semester.
I think I am handling our new block scheduling very well. The extra time allows me to try some new activities, especially ones focusing on CLR or community building. Normally I wouldn’t have time for these (or maybe that’s just what I tell myself), but they have worked well so far.
On the logistics side of things, I am staying ahead of my schedule! Planning, grading, and other non-classroom duties are being taken care of well ahead of time. This is one of the advantages I have, in being able to teach the same courses over five years. I understand the curriculum, the assessments, and what I need to teach – and with regular improvements, my familiarity of the content allows me to finish my work much faster.