Oh, Patience! Where is mine? I've lost it. Has one of you lot stolen it? Give it back!
I was so tense and annoyed today. A headache came on quickly in my second class of the day, and then I had to keep reminding myself to quit clenching my jaw. It was making my head feel worse. I think I might be having a bit of the routine blues. Weekdays just bleed into one another, and each class seems like just a slightly different version of the one I had before it. I've been teaching some of these kids for almost three years now, and each class starts out the same way, I come in, greet them, and tell them to take out their books. Every time. You'd think by now they would have gotten the message that their books need to be taken out. Why, oh why, do I have to tell them every single time? And really, it's not like I tell them once and they all comply, some kids I have to ask them 3 or 4 times. I know in the grand scheme of all that is our universe, this doesn't make a lick of difference,...but on a day like today it still manages to just get me all riled up. And then it goes on from there. "Sit down, stop speaking Korean, stop hitting each other, turn around in your chair, stop fighting, be quiet please, turn to page 63. Page 63. Six- three. Hey, you, turn to page sixty three. SIXTY-THREE. TURN! YOUR PAGE! DO IT! DO IT!DOOOOO ITTTTT," and then suddenly I'm choking someone. It's all fun and games until I start choking someone, eh?
Actually, I've yet to choke a student. Today I just sat quietly watching the students shriek and throw things at each other and not turn their pages to sixty three. I gazed at them passively while my insides twisted themselves into my-god-I-want-to-choke-someone knots. Eventually one of the students will notice my silence and somehow recognize the glimmer of evil in my eye and urge the other kids to settle down. Which they usually do. For about five minutes.
I'll try to get back to my normal fairly calm self tomorrow and make some jokes aimed at the chatty, apparently deaf, non-page-turning ring leaders.
I go into the staffroom for a tiny break between near-chokings, and I have to talk to my new co-worker about something and it just frustrates me so much! Yesterday I said to her, "Well, at least you can explain to the students in Korean about the grammar we're working on."
She said, "Alice?"
That's as far as she got with what I'd said. The phrase "at least" was a giant neon stop sign.
Today I said something about "our job." The resulting exchange went like this:
"Well our job is,..."
"Here. What we do here. Teach."
I smiled at her, and she tried to pass me a pencil. "Please write down."
"I can't!" I said, heading out of the room. "I have to go choke the students!"
Greek Chicken (El Cajon) (revisit)
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