Today was not good, today was not fun, but tomorrow is another one. Most days everything runs smoothly until lunch. After lunch, the drama ensues in my classroom. Lots of writing in our "Problem Solving Notebook" about what happened at recess or even on the rug, tears, and stomping. I am working very hard to prevent meltdowns with children who need counseling or even a one-on-one aide, and it's taking a toll.
I came home today and vented for 30 minutes about the meanness going on in my classroom. One of my students literally said of a student in another class "I want to make her cry, I don't care if I'm mean to her, she deserves it and she's ugly and dumb." I wanted to cry. I tend to blame these things on myself, always wondering what more I can do to help these kids be kinder. I model kindness, make it explicit, praise it out the wazoo, have scouts to look for kindness, use Second Step, and have specific behavior plans for certain students to help foster kind words for those who it is more difficult for. We role play and talk about choosing to be around people who make us feel good ALL THE TIME. I'm feeling a little frustrated and at a loss. What else can I do for those two or three students who are impacting the classroom environment with their negativity? I have a couple students who may even be considered emotionally disturbed, if not just very very angry, and I'm trying to work with that without having them out of the classroom all the time.
I realize I'm ranting again. I feel in a very negative space. If I hear my students chanting "yayuh" one more time I am going to pull every single hair out of my head. And now I can't stop saying it. AHHH.
Some good things have been happening, though. I told my students about Cesar Chavez today and we wrote about how we can help the world. Lots of kids wrote they were going to get rich and give their money to people who needed it. Some said they were going to listen (which can actually be very valuable..just listening to others can help our world greatly, though I don't think they were thinking about it so deeply ;) We then went in to regular Writer's Workshop time and many of my students wrote beautiful, detailed stories. EC wrote about the time her dog got stuck in a hole because he was trying to escape and how she felt so scared and sad until she saved him. Her story was truly compelling and beautiful. EC, who drives me absolutely nuts most of the time because she's in everyone's business and always all over the place, cleaning when she should be listening, touching my desk, erasing the board, etc, but her personality is pretty adorable and she means well.
I taught my students to say "Doo doo doo doo doo" after I say "Mana-mana" a la the Muppets. It's an attention getter that's been somewhat working--until kids start singing "Mana-mana" randomly throughout the day when I'm talking. I give them a teacher look and have them move their clip down when they do this and bring out my monster claws to make them laugh a little. But for reals, if they do it again tomorrow, I might scream.