My students are going to crack me.

I know it, I’m going to lose it, end up wandering around the streets of Suli talking to imaginary teachers about how Jad’s voice doesn’t operate on a volume below “scream” and how Aryeen doesn’t seem to grasp the concept that a chair is for sitting and instead wanders around the back of the classroom whacking random boys on the backs of their heads. Havyar and Meer are in the back of the classroom wrestling, Yara won’t sit but just follows me silently around the classroom, staring at me. Darin steals everyone else’s clay. Raneem cries all day, so loudly that the students can’t hear me. But no matter, they don’t understand English anyway, and my TA refuses to translate and is probably getting fired tomorrow for doing such a poor job.

I just f***ing love it here.

5 thoughts on “I need a straight-jacket

  1. Judging from your final line you’re seeing stars! Sounds like a fairly typical first day in Kindergarten if you ask me, which you wisely didn’t. On the bright side, I’m willing to bet things will improve. And substantially at that. You are intelligent (very, if I may be so bold). You care about people. A lot. I’ve seen you in action on this one. You have a rather exceptional gift with languages (again my opinion, but I stand by it (and you, too, but that’s a different story)). The kids do not know you at all, and they’ve possibly never seen an adult so dumb as to not know how to speak (from their perspective, mind you). There is also a reasonable chance they have never been in a classroom situation prior to this. These are transient phases you will all pass through together; actually, you’ll lead them through (see items listed above). I have complete and utter faith in you and in your abilities. You seem fairly tough, too (in a positive sense). *Hugs*

  2. Ditto everything the smart person said above. And let me know if you want any classroom management resources. I have my top 3 list (from my days working in special education classrooms) and I bet I could find some veteran teachers (many of whom taught you!) who would be willing to skype with you to give you some tips.

  3. It may seem crazy now, but you are so perfect for this job. As the first poster said, you are incredibly smart and linguistically capable, and you are actually a fun and cool person as well! So my advice is to let them run around the room. In fact, I suggest that you run around with them and start becoming the leader of their play. You can establish that with your body alone, without language. Once you are the biggest and best playmate they have, you can start creating games that involve turn-taking, not a turn-taking which the teacher imposes, but a turn-taking which is the basis for the game that THEY want to play. I’m encouraging you to make them your allies in classroom management. As long as they are the enemy, you will lose the fight, so get them on your side, without letting them see that you are doing so.

    As you know, I’m in teacher-training school right now, and we are learning about “Group Dynamics.” One of the things they say in this sub-discipline is that the initial phase of group formation is tricky and will involve a certain amount of chaos. As the boulder rolls down the hill, you can’t smash it with your head, but you may be able to deflect its angle of descent ever so slightly, and that may have significant results that you can see in a few weeks. You will need all the patience you can muster for this one, but I’ve seen your impressive patience, so I know you can knock this one out of the park.

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