I have the best class this year! They are so good. None of my students have any behavior problems. On the first day of school I kept pausing while I was talking. I was getting more and more frustrated with myself. I was wondering, "Did I lose the teaching touch? What is with the pausing? Did I forget how to talk to a group of people?" Nope. It was because no one was interrupting me by shouting obscenities or swear words, no one was throwing any furniture or books, no one was threatening to kill me, no one was throwing a tantrum because I was giving someone else individual attention, and no one was spitting on their neighbor. I didn't know what to do. The past two years I wasn't able to finish a complete thought, let alone a sentence without a swear word, book, spit, punch or death threat being thrown my way. This year is a dream! I tell the kids all of the time they are the best class I've ever had. I actually get a little sad saying goodbye to them on Fridays because I know I won't see them until Monday. This class really couldn't get any better. They try hard, they pay attention, they do what I tell them to do, they don't even get crazy before a storm or during a full moon, and best of all they are excited about any new material I have to teach them. I swear, I could say tomorrow morning, "We are going to learn about watching grass grow," and they'd cheer. Their behavior is the best. I rarely have to tell them individually or collectively to "settle down", "listen" or "get to work". Reverse psychology and positive reinforcement works wonders with them. I'll say, "I LOVE how Johnny is working so hard", then they all work hard. Or "you can do this, you are smart", then they go try their hardest. In the past if I said, "I LOVE how hard Johnny is working", kids would think, and often say, "Well, Johnny is a big nerd." In the past if I told them, "You can do this, you're smart", they'd tell me "No I can't and you are dumb if you think I can do it." Or they'd throw something and storm out of the room and run away.
Today marked the half way point of the school year. Last night I went to bed thinking "I have the best class. They are so excited to learn about everything. I am so lucky." Then it turned to "I am halfway done with this class. I will never have a class this good again. It took 14 years to get kids this good, I'll never strike gold twice." And worse, "Even if I do have a good class, I'll compare them to this class and they will never measure up. This class has blessed, and ruined me at the same time." Then I got a little teary and fell asleep. This morning I was still all nostalgic thinking, "I am so lucky. I love getting out of bed and going to work." However, once I got to school it was a different story. The day started out with a girl announcing, "This is my last day. We are moving to (a southern state) tomorrow because my mom is sick of winter." I should tell you that the temperature (considering wind chill) has only been ABOVE -15 at noon for exactly 7 days since November 3. I hate winter too, but I've decided long ago that I'm stuck here because this is where I live. Considering up and moving because of the weather isn't something most people do, I didn't believe her. Sure enough, I got an e-mail at 9:00 from her mom telling me the movers came during Christmas break, took their stuff, and they are all hopping on a plane tomorrow morning and saying "Adios" to Fargo forever. This girl gave me a picture she drew(of the Eiffel tower) on the back of her homework that said, "Pairs. The Citee of Love. to mrs, farFled". All I thought was, "Well, now the pressure of teaching you how to spell is no longer mine." I only have seven girls in my class, so they are all pretty close friends. The girls who is moving is definitely a leader. The rest are very sweet, but not the "take charge" type. We went through her tearful passing out of her "good-bye cookies" then they pretty much pulled themselves together. I was sad and worried about how the remaining six girls will cope and wondered who will end up taking the leadership role.
My sad attitude continued well into the afternoon. I got an e-mail from our school secretary saying "This is an invite for you to join us in The Biggest Loser here at school" Right away I chuckled thinking "Ha ha! She's calling me a big loser, ha ha." Then I found out it was about losing weight. I was no longer thinking "ha ha" but, "What?! How many other people think I'm fat? Why would she send this to me? Does this shirt make me look fat, or is the pants? Is it the whole outfit? I am so embarrassed..." Then I looked at the "to" list and realized she sent it to everyone. Even the teachers who weigh less than 100 pounds. Why am I so paraniod? It's not PMS. It could be lack of sleep, since during Christmas break and on weekends I sleep 12 hours a day, and this whole 9 hours a night just doesn't cut it. However, I have my happy light box now so I shouldn't need to sleep. Maybe I am sick of winter and should be hopping on a plane to live down south. Or maybe I need to move to Pairs, the citee of love.