If you come in with 100% of your energy everyday for 100 kids, and one child each day sucks up 20% of that energy, how do you divide up your remaining 80%?
If you have 50 minutes for 25 students and one child takes up 10 minutes of your time, how do you decide who is not going to get any of your direct attention that period?
How many kids did you not have a conversation with today, last week, during the last month?
200 minutes of direct class instruction each day. 100 students each day. Don’t even come up with 2 minutes per kid per day — During the 50 minutes there’s 5 minutes to intro class, 5 minutes to wrap up, one kid gives an answer that lasts for three minutes, one kid requires five minutes of help, and the kid who was absent needs yesterday’s work explained and I ask big D why he’s so sad. The office calls the room looking for a student, the squirrels have a fight in the tree outside the window, a student going to the lav trips over the cord unplugging the projector, and little J forgot his notebook, textbook, and pencil and wants to know what he should do about it. With the remaining minutes I am suppose to get my kids ready to take on India and China, be nice to others, collaborate with their classmates, and stop to explain why we don’t use the word retard in class. If I want to use technology I have to take more time out to coach the kids in how and when to use it, prepare them to think locally, globally, abstractly, solve problems, draw conclusions, be empathetic, and there is also this Social Studies Curriculum I am supposed to be covering. It is so much easier to give the kids a textbook assignment with a worksheet follow-up, give a detention for calling a kid retard, close the blinds, not use a projector, sorry Little J you are not going to your locker, dude come back after school to get the make-up, make them work independently in rows, use only paper and pencil, just worry about getting them to memorize the facts for the test, connect learning to grades, coercively manage their behavior, and then I bet I would have no problem covering the curriculum and not have arrived home this evening totally exhausted.
Is there one person in my building, my town, my state, that feels the same way? Why do I feel so alone in my exhaustion as I experience severe growing pains as a teacher in transition from 1.0 to 2.0. This isn’t suppose to be happening 17 years into my career. Is there some Uber Freaky Teacher Anonymous group meeting at some bar that I could attend? Would I go? Am I really just alone as I feel? I should stop and go and make a multiple choice, true/false test for tomorrow instead of setting up the recording equipment to record their Pecha Kuchas( oh so cool) digital storytelling videos for our wiki. I would be so much more relaxed, sit down tonight and watch bad TV, eat something that has lots of chemicals in it, crank up some Iron Maiden, spend a minute outside listening to the second day of the Spring Creeper chorus(oh so very cool), and then maybe decide if I want my blog to continue to be some form of therapy for me, or to be a place to engage others.
Kind of funny, decided to throw on some Maiden via an internet site before I posted this — first song that came up: “Running Free” followed by “Heaven can Wait” There is a message in there somewhere. Oh wait, Metallica is on…the song…not kidding…”No Remorse.” Fine I am better off being a stressed out 2.0 wannabe stopping the class for 5 minutes and discussing why we shouldn’t call one another a retard and putting the Mexican American War on hold…I have “no remorse” for doing what I do.