The last couple of years, most or all of my classes (as a whole—not every individual student) had self-control issues. Inability to stay quiet, to accept directions, to follow through on assignments, regardless of where the task fell on the fun meter. In extreme cases, yelling and swearing. Unrelenting back-talk. Things said to me that I wouldn’t have dared say when I was a kid, nor would I say now to anyone, much less someone with power.
(I teach 5th and 6th grade.)
At the end of the work day, even though I was part time, I was exhausted. The majority of my energy was going to classroom management, and a tiny slice was given to actually teaching. The groups as a whole didn’t play well, though there were individual students who did.
It was draining. It was demoralizing. It definitely did not make my life better.
This year, I have a couple of classes that act like normal classes, which is to say, we can get stuff done. Occasionally I need to redirect a couple of students. There’s always someone who asks a question that I just answered. But that’s all pretty standard.
I can teach and they can learn.
I come home from work and have energy left. Things get done around the house. Exercising is easier. I have more patience for The Kid. I have mental energy to think about different ways to teach. (It’s never the same twice, whether it’s tweaked or totally overhauled.)
Having a job that doesn’t suck me dry is a big deal.
Happy to have some of myself back.