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. Journal written on 9/21.

Feelings

A colleague of mine was hospitalized yesterday. Because of that news, today was very hard. It was hard to smile. It was hard to joke around. As teaching began, I was able to fall back into good classroom habits, but joyful moments were very short lived. I haven’t heard any news – hoping he is improving.

Last year a colleague was hospitalized in the middle of the day. Two years ago, a colleague passed away over winter break. This never feels good.

Failures

During certain parts of the day, hallways still need to see improvement. I fear that the environment displayed today is becoming the culture of the hallway during this third week of the school year. Like I mentioned last week, we (teachers) need to step up our hallway game or it will be a long semester. The longer it waits, the harder changing the environment will be.

We had 2 assemblies this week, and the one for our younger students could have gone much better. I am happy my class did well overall, but it was a tough event. Poor speaker volume, along with a few other issues, all lead to an event that felt hectic and chaotic, rather than empowering and exciting.

Successes

I am beginning to repair some of the relationships I mentioned from last week. In general, I think my relationship building and classroom cultures are the best they have ever been. Student productivity is very high, the cultures of my classes – especially the high class sizes (36) – are surprisingly wonderful. Overall, I am really enjoying my classes.

Ultimately, I made it through the day. Next week will be better.

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