Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 17 2006


I’m sitting in my classroom. There are many things to be done. I have an hour of time to do whatever they are but I’m sitting here, lifeless, unable to do work. I have curled up on the dirty carpeted floor of my classroom and cried too many times this week. Classes were not even that bad today. Students are incredibly angry about my dean’s referrals. They say that writing in every time they have been in the behavior log this semester is lying and that they can only be RPC’d for what they do on the day I write the referral. They tell me I can’t write referrals before or after class. They have all these rules they want me to abide by.

I’m so tired. I left my UNLV class last night because I started crying in defeat and could not continue the work. I left class and cried for half an hour out of sheer exhaustion. It’s funny because my professor will probably read this entry and know that I left his class to go cry (not because of anything he did) but I’m at the point where it doesn’t even matter. I feel like such a worthless student. I do the work, but I don’t have the drive to be the perfectionist I used to be in college. I feel bad about it. The classes about technology are interesting and useful but Thursday evening, after a week of being destroyed at school, I can hardly will myself to put forth the necessary energy they take.

At least it is Friday. I have one more class and one parent teacher conference until I can go home. My mom is giving a guest lecture about big goals to my girls class which is very exciting. Exciting in the sense that I can let down, stop being the non-stop Ms. Math show. It’s like I’m performing, on display, to be analyzed way too many hours of the day.
They look at my eyes (Miss, why were you crying?), my clothes (didn’t you wear that last time?), how I walk (laughing at me if I trip over a wire), my grades, my everything. I know that so many of their criticisms are legitimate; it’s as if I should be perfect because I’m the teacher. I cannot be flawed or make mistakes. It’s so much pressure. I need to realize that just because I make a mistake, it does not mean that kids should be able to misbehave or that my plan in general is bad.

One Response

  1. Vicki Dodge

    When I let go of what I am
    I become what I might be — Lao Tzu

    Your plans are fine, You are fine. Remember they are jealous so they are looking for things to criticize about you. Don’t add to your pressure by being so critical of yourself. i assisted with a challenge day at a high school earlier this year and i saw how these kids are acting out because they have so much hurt inside they feel they have to hide. i witnessed these smart alecs breaking down and letting their real selves show through during this event. many of them have no one they can be real with. they give you a bad time because in their eyes you are a perfect person and they are not sure how to interact so they go the opposite and give you a really horrible time. i am so sorry they do this but i also know that you are strong and are handling it even with feeling so pressured. hold onto your values and let them argue with you for reporting them. maybe they will see that if they behave they will not get reported.
    and at that challenge day they a motto it was “I am good, Oh I am so good YEAH!!!!!” and they yelled it many times throughout the day. wouldn’t that suprise your class if you yelled that in the middle of a conflict. it definitely helps me when i am frustrated with the 51 hours of craziness in four days a week i am trying to survive.
    I am so glad you and your mom got some time together (she shared pics and now i feel really old cammie) You are a beautiful young woman and you are going to be a better person from these experiences even i fyou do not believe it now. i plan to say i told you so one of these days
    take care and remember you are loved and supported by many many of us.

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