I Lost It!

Guitar Man by no prawns, on Flickr
“Guitar Man” (CC BY 2.0) by no prawns

I lost it today. Well, not entirely, but almost. We had a half day today. Winter Storm Helen threatened to dump freezing rain all over the mid-south, and with safety in mind, our school announced an early dismissal. Imagine my sixth-grade boys’ excitement. They couldn’t wait to go home.

Unfortunately, the weather messed up my plans. There were several things I wanted my classes to accomplish, but I narrowed the to-do list and tried motivating the boys with a promise that completing the tasks would mean no homework. Most complied, and today, compliance was what I most wanted. (Ugh, I hate admitting that.) Then, two boys just wouldn’t focus. Perhaps, they couldn’t. They refused to get things done. They started messing with each other. When I corrected one, he argued back at me. When I moved the other, he snuck back and began picking at his partner in crime. Eventually, they riled each other enough to cause a small commotion in our room.

That’s when it happened. I lost it. My temper flared. I didn’t get physical or swear or say things I regret (such things may or may not have come to mind), but I snapped. I yelled. I threatened–manipulating with talk of calls home and referrals to the office. It was ugly. No, I was.

I’ve worked hard this year to build good relationships with my students, to make our learning meaningful, and to give them a voice. Still, today, I managed to lose it all.

I’m praying that we’ll be back in school tomorrow, that the boys accept my apology, and that tomorrow I can begin to find it all again.