Well, I survived the first full week with 54 Fifth Graders, and no, I did not have them all at once (though there were times I felt like I did!).
I can see that my class this year is going to be a challenge. Last year’s group was near perfection compared to this one. I have never seen so much ” ‘tude” in my life. These kids come with so many chips on their shoulders, as if adults have no right to even exist! I have taught as close to inner city as I have ever wanted to. I have taught wealthy children. I have taught middle class. BUT, it’s these rural, poor children that are the most challenging to face. They have parents who barely exist themselves. They have needs & concerns that most of us don’t even want to think about (and I don’t dare mention what some of them are!). Still, my standards are high and for the most part, my students live up to them. This year, I can see that my standards themselves will be challenged and tested, which only means I have to keep my “game face” on or they will get the best of me. I mean, God forbid I should require some semblance of respect in my classroom!
So, it’s been a tough week, emotionally and physically. I have been exhausted nearly each night and all I’ve done is taught rules, procedures, practice of rules & procedures, and some writing skills. BUT, I have spent most of the week disciplining because they can’t behave and that’s the physically exhausting part!
Just pray for me. Pray that my class gets better, learns to behave, learns to respect the teacher, and equally important – just wants to LEARN. Wish me luck!