Sunday Post | Back in Hell with a Smile

September 27, 2015 Sunday Post 30

Welcome to My Sunday Post!
Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer. Basically it’s a chance to talk about the books you bought, borrowed, blogged about, and read for the week and what’s coming in the week ahead – and then share them with a much wider blogging community. Check out the details here.

News at Home

A lot has happened in the last couple weeks and somehow I’ve ended up back in Hell with a smile. I meant to post last week, but last Saturday I had a quincenera to go to and I didn’t end up having time to post. So I’ll update you on both weeks.

On Wednesday of last week (so 9/16) my administration told me that they were going to switch students for me. The student I told y’all about that was giving me so much trouble and was suspended… they said that since she had been SO violent towards me they felt the best move would be to see if she could build a better relationship with another teacher. And that teacher had a student who she’d also been having a rough time with (my student’s step-sister actually), so we did a swap. Well the new student hasn’t been in my class much – she’s a chronic crier who doesn’t want to come to school and finds every excuse to go home. I didn’t really have any trouble with her until Thursday of this week… more on that in a minute.

So last week was pretty much like most weeks. Rough. But on Friday I got the best news. My mentor let me know that they had arranged to let me observe a 1st grade teacher who has been teaching for 10 years and who’s style is probably a lot like mine. And then, as my bonus prize, they arranged to have her come and co-teach with me for a day to help me. Well, that happened this week. It’s the reason I’m back in Hell with a smile.

On Tuesday they put a substitute teacher in my class all day – btw, that’s not a break. Getting prepared for a sub is MORE work than just working – and I spent the whole day in this amazing teacher’s class. I’ve already been asking her a ton of questions and boy were they right that our styles match. She’s so structured, which is SO ME. Her class was amazing. There was like never a student not doing what they were supposed to. And if they weren’t, the consequences were not only immediate, but accepted without complaint from the kids. They had fun with her, but knew she meant business. It was such a privillege to observe her class. I took some of what I learned and started applying it on Wednesday, all by myself. And wow, the impact was amazing. The kids started to realize I meant buisness too. But my procedures still needed a lot of help and I didn’t know how to have fun with them yet. So much of the kinder fun is just not in my vocab. Yet.

Well Thursday she came in and took our class back to day 1 Hell. Because that’s what happens when you take a class full of 5 year olds that are used to doing things one way and tell them that shit isn’t going to fly anymore. They fight back. They are not happy. And at the same time, they love the good stuff they’re getting along the way. The finger plays we started doing – Thumpkin, I am special, Open Shut Them, etc. Thursday morning she led my class with me stepping in periodically. By the afternoon I was leading things with her stepping in periodically. The change was miraculous. The majority of my students are really responding well. Some are fighting, but they’re learning that they will lose and I will win.

Friday I was by myself again – though people stopped by constantly to observe – and it was pretty much the same as Thursday, maybe a little bit better! I’m nervous about the moment I try to actually start teaching, but I feel like we’re headed in the right direction. For example, my alternative certifcation field supervisor came on Friday to observe me and she gave me a proficient rating in ALL AREAS. I promise you, if she’d come on Monday I would have failed. Night and day.

We did have one incident involving my new student – the one that was switched for my problem student – on Thursday. She came to class crying, like usual. She tried to say she was sick, but I knew she wasn’t (that’s a daily thing for her because she wants to go home). She REFUSED to come into class and one of the school aids ended up helping trying to bring her in. Next thing I know, while we’re trying to teach, she’s DESTROYING the classroom. She threw puzzles and papers all over, knocked over a book case, and wrote on the white board with permanent marker. Screaming, hollering, slamming the door, kicking the aid – all while we’re trying to teach.

Now some really important background to share- she belongs to this family that is infamous in our school. There are 25 of them in our school. Yep. 25. Basically every teacher has one of these kids. Like I said, I switched step-sisters. Well, the teacher who was helping me has my student’s older sister in her class and didn’t want to leave her for a sub. But she has her behavior under control, so she brought her to class with her so that she could keep an eye on her and also to use her as a model for my kindergarteners. Which was working really well, until my student (her littler sister) started acting up. In a sudden moment, the two of them ran out of the classroom into the hallway and started running around. The teacher helping me took off to try and get control. Well, like I said, there are 25 of these kids in the school and some of them saw their siblings in the hall acting stupid. So now we have 10 kids in the halls acting up, fighting ensuses, and next thing I know, we’re having to call the police to foreceably remove these ten 5-10 year olds from the school. Yeah. So there was some definite hell.

And she didn’t come back to school on Friday – which means she won. She got exactly what she wanted. No school on Thursday or Friday. But she’ll be back, probably Monday. And she has a mess waiting for her. Yep. Despite my obsessive desire for order I left the mess on the floor and the sharpie marker on the board. During specials on Monday (or whenever she gets back) she’ll be with me, cleaning up her mess. Hopefully it’ll show her there are consequences. At the very least, it’s already shown my other kids – because they asked why I left the mess and I let them know that she’d clean it up because we clean up after ourselves in my class. I’m not here to clean up after them.

Sorry this has been so long – but I have to mention that all this happened with me VERY sick. As in I have almost no voice, am constantly hacking up a lung, and on Thursday the world was constantly spinning. I had to sit down a few times just to avoid passing out. But hey, I survived, so it has to get better right?

Blog News

Nothing new, except that I really hope to have some reviews up for y’all this week.

#FitReaders Update

Still not making it to the gym, but also still not eating much and getting tons of steps. Except weekends where I become so lazy, a bump on a log walks more…

Last Two Weeks on the Blog

This Week on the Blog Look For:

Hoping to at least review Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep, which I read and loved this past week. Have a ton of other reviews sitting around too….

How was your week?

I'm back in Hell, but I'm smiling. Check out my Sunday Post to see why! Click To Tweet Follow on Bloglovin


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

30 Responses to “Sunday Post | Back in Hell with a Smile”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, if you have to be in Hell, at least you can smile about it. I’m so happy that the administration is doing things to help you be successful, Berls. That says something about them – and it’s a positive something. 😀 It sucks that you still have to deal with a problem child but I’m so happy you got some tips from that teacher to make things run more smoothly day-to-day with the rest of your class. Kinder may never be your passion or the place you want to teach, but the skills you’re learning will undoubtedly help you run a classroom of any age. You ROCK, girl!! I’m still sending positive thoughts your way…and, of course, lots of hugs!! {{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…That’s What HE Said #38 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #17My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks so much Brandee, I need all the positive thoughts I can get (and hugs lol)! Yes, I really do have a good administration… Except for the part where they put me in this position in the first place. But at least they’re giving me the tools to be successful. Now if I could only figure out this kids that don’t respect me for anything…. Grrrr! Hope you’re having a great week!

  2. Lorna

    I admire your patience! I would be crying like the little girl probably. One more reason I didn’t go into teaching. A friend of mine had two foster(and now adopted) children that acted like this, one more than the other. Both had been horribly abused both sexually and physically-at under 4 years of age. One of them just got worse and worse and ended up in a psychiatric hospital as a resident. She’s an adult now and still having major issues. This story reminded me of her so much.You really have to wonder about these children’s home life. Good luck with everything and I hope it works out.

    • Berls

      Yikes! So true though – when I see how these kids behave I just think “where’d they learn to act this way?” because they must be seeing something pretty awful (& experiencing it) to act so bad at such a young age. But sorry for them or not, it’s exhausting! Thanks so much for the luck – I need it!

    • Berls

      It did and it didn’t. The student that threw over the bookcase was back and she ran out of the classroom again. She’s going to be the death of me. Otherwise it was okay I guess. Grr. I can’t wait for this year to be over!

    • Berls

      Lol yeah my patience is pretty much used up. I’m running of pure determination and a count down to my next day off. I can’t wait for this year to be over!

  3. Kathryn

    I read every word it is so interesting. I know I know! You’d prefer it to be a little less so! As the first commenter says she is amazed at your resilience. Me too. And delighted that you are making some important strides in being the boss in your class. The model teacher sounds fabulous, I always believed kids need structure and then when that is established the time to let the fun happen. Takes time.

    What a dysfunctional family – my goodness, I could see them all running around the hallway as you described it.

    Take care, how you kept going and so sick I don’t know. Should have been home in bed.
    Kathryn recently posted…The Patterson Girls. Rachael JohnsMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’m glad it’s not boring – I feel like I’m going on and on, but I want to share the highlights! Thanks so much, I’m feeling much more positive about things moving forward. I really needed some guidance on how to do all this in Kinder.

      Yes that family is so dysfunctional and it so unfortunate that there’s so many of them – sometimes I feel like they run our school, though I know the administration is doing their best.

      I still don’t have my voice back 100%, but I’m getting there. Hopefully this week I’ll feel better. Have a great week 🙂

  4. A Voracious Reader

    Holy shit! That family…I just…wow. I feel so bad for the kids. Children are sponges. They learn what they see. How dysfunctional that family must be is just…wow. Again. Hang in there! Sounds like you’re doing great. With the troubled kids, you can only do so much, but what you do will hopefully make an impression. {{{posivibes}}} and {{{hugs}}}
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 111th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Carol 🙂 You’re so right about the family – they’re a mess and I can only imagine how bad their home life is. Things are getting better, maybe eventually they’ll even be good 🙂 hugs! Have a great week!

  5. Katherine

    Oh man what a mess. Part of me feels sorry for the kids because there’s obvious just an impossible level of dysfunction in that family but most of me feels sorry for the other students and the staff. Definitely a mess for everyone involved. I’m very impressed with all the resources the administration is offering and you for trying to make a situation that is so awful manageable. I hope it keeps getting better and maybe that family will decide to home school or something. Have a great week!
    Katherine recently posted…This Week in Reading – September 27My Profile

    • Berls

      Oh I know, I do feel sorry for them. They’re children living in a clearly dysfunctional situation. They need help. And having them ALL at our school isn’t the best solution for them – they need to be split up between the campuses. If only. I’m so thankful that my administration is helping me out – they did put me in this mess after all! But that doesn’t mean they had to help me. So I’m thankful and hoping surviving the year won’t be too bad.

    • Berls

      Me either! That’s what kills me with some of these kids – where did they even learn to behave so badly? I never would have gotten close to these behaviors! Hopefully I’m figuring it out and they will stop. Thanks so much 🙂 have a great week!

  6. Stormi

    You have way more patience and nerves than me as I would already be gone…lol. I do every other month just helping in the 6 and 7 year old at my church and that drives me bonkers and that is only one day a week ever other month…lol. I could never teach kinder…not ever. Kudos to you for sticking with it and figuring things out! Glad you got to observe that other teacher and hope things start going in the right direction and you get out of hell soon. 🙂

    Stormi recently posted…The Week In Review #55My Profile

    • Berls

      *hugs* lol thanks Stormi. There’s no doubt this takes A LOT of patience. Things I had to deal with last week that I didn’t write about that would drive anyone bonkers! But it’s working so I’ll stick with it. Have a great week 🙂

  7. Lola

    That’s good to hear thigns are going better, it sounds like observing that other teacher was a big help and your new teaching techniques are helping. But damn those kids sure sound like a handfull. And that with you being sick and all, I think it’s great you managed to get through this week. And having that kid clean up her own mess, might just help and teach her some responsibility.

    I also loved Cold Burn of Magic, so I am looking forward to your review! Hope you have a great week!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #145My Profile

    • Berls

      Observing the other teacher made a world of difference – I feel like before I was trying to do the impossible. How do you teach something you’ve never seen!? But it’s certainly a handful and it’s going to be hard for a while. But I do believe it will get better.

      Have a great week Lola 🙂

  8. Lexxie

    I’m so happy for you that things are finally going better at work, Berls, even if there is still more to do to make it close to perfect!
    It surprises me that there are so many children from the same family, and that they are all so troubled. It’s sad that nothing more can be done for them to make their lives easier.
    You are so right to keep the mess she made in your class so that she can be the one to clean it all up when she comes back on Monday! Even if you wanted your room to be nice and tidy 🙂
    I hope next week will be even better! *HUGS*
    Lexxie recently posted…The Sunday Post #51My Profile

    • Berls

      *HUGS* Oh there’s tons more to do to get it close to perfect, but at least it’s survivable right now. Fingers crossed next week is better. The family really needs to be split up so they don’t go to the same campus – the school is just a big version of home for them right now. But that’s not something the administration has been able to make happen, I know they’re trying. Not just because it would be better for our school, but it would be better for the kids too. All I can do is worry about my 1 and try to get her to realize consequences and that school can be a fun good place at the same time.

  9. Ramona

    * Much Love * I think it’s a great idea to let her clean up her own mess. Coming from such a large family, she might not be disciplined at home. She might not understand consequences… Anyway, congrats on your proficiency!!! 😀 Hang in there, Berls, it’s bound to get easier at some point.
    Ramona recently posted…Scary Stories? Yes, Please!My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Ramona *hugs*! Yeah her family is not at all disciplined, so I’m sure she doesn’t. Fingers crossed it’s gets easier soon!

    • Berls

      I’m glad it’s interesting lol and doesn’t just sound like one great big complain fest. Thanks so much, I’m just glad to be surviving so far!

    • Berls

      Thanks 🙂 Me too! I really needed the help that they gave me – idk how I was supposed to figure out teaching kindergarten when the lowest grade I’ve ever observed had been 7th grade! I’ve gotten lots of rest, but still no voice. We’ll see if it gets better today! Have a great week Bea 🙂

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