A Three Month Roller Coaster

“Roller coaster” is the most calm term I can use to describe this school year so far. It is now November and I am finally getting a moment to collect my thoughts about all that has happened during the past three months. I began the year feeling very confident in my teaching, discipline, and work relationships. However, around mid-September I felt almost completely the opposite and that feeling lasted almost the whole month of October.

I have had to deal with many discipline issues this year, mostly outside of my classroom (during hallways and recess duty periods). This year my classroom is very under control. I have very few issues with my students and they have learned SO much more already than they had at this point last year. I feel like having such a controlled classroom makes dealing with duty discipline issues worse. Last year, as a first year teacher, I was experiencing issues (however minor) in 50% of my classes along with during my duties. This year, I’ve only had major discipline issues about once a week in my classroom, so experiencing a lack of control during duty periods with students I don’t know makes me feel more helpless. This is no fault to anyone, except the students who choose to cause trouble, but just something I have had time to reflect upon.

On a few positive notes: my middle school show choir is sounding amazing and my district is fully funding my trip to the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference this year! I am going to be co-presenting a session on the first year of teaching, as well as presiding over two sessions. I am very much looking forward to it, as it is one of my favorite weekends of the year!

Back to show choir, I honestly sometimes cannot believe how magical music can be. I teach some very rough kids and I let a lot of those kids into my show choir, to the point where we actually had one very small physical fight (more like a pushing-each-other contest) at a practice. I am not telling this story to receive pity or applause, but for you to understand my clientele. These kids can be rough. It’s just how they’re used to living life outside of school and I completely expected that when I took this job. In fact, I only applied to schools in more urban settings, so I was truly “asking for it.” BACK TO MY POINT, music is SO AMAZING! One of my boys (who was apart of the scuffle I mentioned) is a trouble maker at school and outside of school. He gets in trouble in most of his classes, is in the office multiple times a week, and gets into a lot of altercations outside of school. This past Friday, at our after school show choir rehearsal, I took a minute to just observe the students. This kid was seriously grinning ear to ear while he was singing and dancing! He is definitely not the best singer, nor a naturally talented dancer, but he has found a place where he can feel successful and cared for. I just watched him for a minute, smiling as he tried to keep up with (what he at first called) the “gay” dance moves and thought to myself this is why I do this. This is why I work 50+ hours a week. Why I take home a lot less money than my friends who are nurses. Why I lose sleep thinking about my students’ welfare. Why I deal with discipline issues at recess every day. I do it for kids like this one, who could be literally fighting on the streets, but are instead choosing to stay after school on a FRIDAY to sing and dance.

As you can tell, it took some time, but I am finally back into a good headspace at work. The kids never noticed a difference in my teaching, they’re actually feeling much more confident in their sound. The only apologies go to my mom, Brandon, and neighbor teachers who have dealt with my rants the past few months.

My church job and my coaching job are doing amazing. I lead Christmas musical rehearsals at my church job every Sunday, where I get to work with adorably intelligent 4-10 year olds. As for coaching, I was so successful in my beginning months that I have earned a free ticket to our Beachbody conference this summer in New Orleans! I am so excited and proud of myself for reaching that goal, because not many people do. I look forward to growing this business and helping as many people as I can with their health and fitness goals!

On a personal note, Brandon and I will be moving to our first apartment in December! It will be a scary adjustment, but we are looking forward to the responsibility of living on our own without my mom’s help. Shoutout to my mom for putting up with Brandon the past ten months and me for the past twenty-three years.

I am hoping to get into more of a habit when it comes to blogging. I realize this is something I’ve said a few times, but I promise to really try this time. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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