- "My mom hit me." I told his teacher, who told me to tell the AP, who told me to tell the guidance counselor.
- "I threw up in the bathroom." Having been instructed to not send a child to the nurse unless he or she was actively on the verge of death, I asked another teacher who happened to be in the room if I should call the office. She suggested that the kid looked fine now and that we wait it out. When his teacher returned and I explained my ill-conceived 'no nurse' theory, she gave me a withering glare and...sent him to the nurse. Yup, Ms. C officially hates me.
- "She's throwing up!" Yes, twice in two days in two different classes! This time we did send the girl to the nurse. Who sent her back to the class. Where she threw up again, this time on the table. She went back down to the nurse. Who sent her back to class again. Where she...wait for it...threw up again...!
- "I feel sorry for you." On the one hand, this says, "I acknowledge that this must be a challenging class for you to teach." On the other? It says, "You're screwed."
This afternoon as I waited an excrutiatingly long time to get my new behavior management charts laminated at Staples ("Green = Great Day! 2 stickers!"), this guy looked at them and said, "I remember kindergarten! All we did was eat milk and cookies and nap."
"Well, it's a lot different now," I replied, "...unfortunately for all of us."
I just read all of these for the first time. Oh man, it really does sound like trial-by-fire.
Not that it even compares, but when I lifeguarded I definitely had a split-personality thing going on. I really had to be "the mean one." I told myself the kids could either hate me or they could all drown. Unlike you, though, I didn't like the kids at all, so I didn't mind if they hated me as long as they respected me.
Sometimes lifeguarding seemed so pointless, because the pool was 4.5 feet deep at its deepest. My friends would tell me, "you're saving lives just by being there." And that's what you're doing too! You're helping these kids just by caring so much about your job, by sticking it out, and by taking on all the challenges.
However this turns out, you will be a stronger person for having gone through it.
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