Day Three.

The principal was out of the office today, which actually bummed me out. On Wednesdays, he usually plays the audio of my favorite commercial over the loudspeaker.

I can’t help it. It cracks me up. And I could have used some laughter today.

Today was the worst day I’ve had since I started student teaching six weeks ago. Literally everything that could have gone wrong, did.
We started the day with grammar, going over subject/predicate and the types of sentences. We watched a few more of those brainpop videos and took a group quiz. Then the students had to work on types of sentences and write each type for homework.
That went fairly well. Some of the students asked questions that weren’t necessary or tried to stall me, but I’m getting used to the tricks. The students groaned when they heard the word “homework”, because they haven’t had much homework from us yet. But, they’re in 8th grade, and they have to get used to it.

The second half of class was dedicated to starting The Tell-Tale Heart and discussing suspense vs. mystery. I had a badass clip from an Alfred Hitchcock interview. Only a few students knew who he was, but once I named his films, a few more caught on.

So after they watched this, we broke the students up into two groups. One group went to read with my cooperating teacher, and the other group hung out with me. My group read silently while I played eerie music. It was actually awesome.

Well, it was awesome in the morning.

In the afternoon, we were short on lit books, the internet died multiple times (our school has some ridiculous technology issues), and the students were absolutely insane. I don’t know what it was. I was on my own in the afternoon (my cooperating teacher had to go to a seminar), but I had a sub in the room and they’ve worked very well with me alone before. I was at my wit’s end, especially because it was the last class of the day, and my plans were epically failing me. Maybe they took advantage of my obvious stressed state. Maybe they were just hyper from lunch. Maybe they were crazed because they didn’t have assigned seats today. Whatever the reason, I had to become the hardass teacher at the end of the day and individually call out students to move and be quiet. I couldn’t take it anymore, and in 8th grade, they should really know better.

But I felt like a jerk. The sub was in class at the worst possible time, and I couldn’t help but think of how she viewed me. She was very nice and kept reassuring me that it probably was just an off day, but she’s never met me before. What if she thinks this is how I run my class? I couldn’t shake it. My cooperating teacher didn’t come back for the rest of the day, so at 3:25 exactly, I turned off the lights, shut the doors, and trudged to my car, feeling the tears well up in my eyes.

I vented to my fiance on the phone. I vented to my mom and her boyfriend in person. But I realized that, despite my venting and frustration, I was still pretty happy. It’s such a fucking cliche, but the worst day at a great job is still better than the best day at a terrible job.

So I had a small glass of wine and a bowl of my mom’s homemade broccoli cheese soup, took a nap, and visited with my grandparents. By 8pm, the awful moments of the day were out of my mind and I was looking forward to tomorrow.

I know I’m in the right profession when the worst day in the last six weeks doesn’t suck too much.

The kids are going to love Friday. We’re watching a modern retelling of The Tell-Tale Heart, but I haven’t told them what we’re watching. I’m hyping it as a formal, educational video.
It is a retelling of The Tell-Tale Heart, though. A pretty faithful one. I can’t wait to watch the same episode three times.


  1. Marisa Leigh · October 10, 2013

    I absolutely love some of the ideas you’re using for Tall Tell Heart. I’m studying to be a future English teacher and I can just feel your passion for teaching through your words. I feel the same way. Good luck :)!

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