Friday was interesting. The students were burnt out, I was impatient, and it seemed to be permeating the building. No one was hurt, but there were moments when I was stopping for "breathing" and had to take a few students aside to explain, "there is a line you have crossed, and it's one that will earn you a detention if corrections are not made." Luckily, we all held it together and accomplished the day's goals, yet, it was NOT pretty, and it should have been enjoyable.
Not so in other parts of the building where there were student walk-outs, a few instances of disrespect, (students using their words against teachers), and more than a little physical checking in the hallways. Everyone I talked to seemed frustrated and isolated, then relieved to hear that the same thing was going on in other places, and it wasn't just them.
Sometimes I wish I had an emergency valve that I could spring in those situations and "tag in" a fresh teacher who could bring a fresh approach to the situation. Not for the BIG emergencies like fights and injury, just the little smoldering times (impulsive child can't control comments) when one is about to lose it-so that learning can continue for the main group, but the problems can be isolated and corrected without breaking the flow. Why should the whole class have to stop for one student's discipline contract?
Seems like we know which classes need this, and maybe if we had a buddy teacher who was grading right outside the door, and we could say, hey take over for a minute. . . then we could work through those moments more efficiently. Does such a system exist?
Monday will be brilliant, as usual. Everyone will be rested and ready to go, like it is in the adult work world. The difference for schoolchildren and teachers is that they are absolutely stuck when those anti-productive environments hit-there is no escape to the break room for anyone.
Keep breathing deeply.