This will be brief: I’m trying to play catch-up from a day I would like to strike from the record.

Yesterday was a little chaotic for me. My co-op was gone on a trip, and so I was teaching under a very capable substitute teacher. It went better than it could have but not as well as I would have liked.

As usual, my juniors were no problem; actually, they were only taking a test, so that was a piece of cake. I got all of the research papers from my seniors (bye bye, spare time for the next two weeks) and started some introductory material for 1984 – which they griped horribly about because they have to read almost 40 pages for class today. One class is typically worse than the other, mostly because that class has more students who work in the evenings. But it’s an AP class! It doesn’t make sense that there wouldn’t be a fair amount of work involved in it. I designed the unit, including daily readings, back in November, based on my co-op’s suggestion of 30 pages a day (which I have followed fairly closely throughout the two weeks). But because I require them to do exactly what they would have to do if I weren’t student teaching, they hate me.

And to make matters a little more frustrating, my eighth graders are starting to make it clear that they don’t like me, either. One girl asked when I would be done with student teaching (the topic of ISATs had come up and whether or not I would be around for them) and pointed out excitedly to another student that I would be gone in eight weeks. (Actually, it’s closer to seven, but I didn’t want to make her little heart burst from excitement.)

But I’m trying not to let that get to me, and today is going to be my “iron fist” day. I’m not going to tolerate griping, complaining, undermining – that all ends now. It should, in truth, have ended weeks ago, but I’m going in resolute today. Hate me if you must, but I will not be shamed to do my duty.

(Now let’s hope I can keep this attitude going!)

[Addendum: Forgot to mention that the breakdown mentioned in the title isn’t so much a classroom breakdown as a mechanical breakdown – as in, my son broke down our laptop keyboard, key by key. As such, I’m playing catch-up on another computer until I can get a USB keyboard to use in the meantime.]