Tuesday, February 23, 2010


First, sorry its been so long. I don't have anything to say other than life gets busy. Thank you all for being patient.

I've noticed a trend among my teacher colleagues that startles me. It starts in the morning during the first period and slowly but surely grows like that sweet foam experiment that biology teachers always do on the first day of class. I'm talking about a teacher's anger and aggression.

I know what some of you teachers are thinking. *Gasp!* I never get angry at my kids. I always have ways of venting frustrations and not taking it out on them. If this is true, than you are the most amazing person this side of Alpha Centauri (obscure space reference). I personally find that my aggression towards those whom I teach increases exponentially. Something minor may happen, but that immediately puts me on the defensive towards ALL students. And so, by the time my last class rolls around, I kind of want to dispose quietly of their fetid corpses. Ok, maybe that's extreme.

I see this in my colleagues too. Towards the end of the day, we are all frazzled and destroyed. We want to annihilate anything that gets in our way. Is this normal, or is it possibly just the situation in which I find myself?

Comments are appreciated


  1. Hmm. Careful. You may be perceived as being candid, which is not recommended (or normally practiced) by the education establishment.

    I know what you're talking about, but I've never thought of it as being time progressive, that is, increasing in force as the day wears on. I have a couple observations that may bear on this.

    My own observation is that if there is a triggering event--a student says something particularly snarky, for example, it can be difficult to recover equilibrium and behave as though it had never happened. This isn't fair to the classes who come after that, of course, so that kind of reaction must be guarded against at all costs. It's often hard, though--we might as well admit it.

    Another problem arises when a class--any class, whether early in the day or late--manifests group misbehavior, or at least has several characters who feed off each other in their attempts to press your buttons. "Fetid corpses" sparks a brand new mental image, my friend, but truthfully, I have often spoken of wishing I could march the entire group out into the courtyard and shoot them--blindfolds optional.

    God's grace and God's invited presence is what keeps us from walking out the door in the afternoon and buying a one-way ticket to Paraguay. Never forfeit your classroom authority and never forget that you are a public example, apt to be quoted (and misquoted) on phone calls home and around kitchen tables on any given evening. It's not fair, but it goes with the territory.

    I feel your pain. Most high school teachers, if they were exercising this unrecommended candor, would admit that they too know it.

  2. I would say you have a valid point. Today was especially hard. Perhaps its a simple change in the barometric pressure, but I really feel like some days are better/worse than others.

    I knew I would receive a comment similar to this but that is not to say it isn't well received. I know that I have to be on my guard at all times, even when I feel like taking them all wholesale and telling them to jump in a lake.

    God has put me here in this situation for a reason. I must confess that I don't know exactly what that reason is, but I'm trying my hardest to believe that I can make a difference for these kids.