Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I need to stop spending so much time at school!

Topic for the Day: Why I need to stop spending so much time at school!

I've been staying until 530 to 730pm after school each day this week. I'm trying to catch up on my paperwork so that this period is all caught up and starts off on the right foot. I want my classroom to be organized and neat for my students and I want to convey to them that I have a good idea of what I'm doing. So, I stay after school to work.

There's a problem this this philosophy. The students have realized that I stay after school and have started invading my sanctuary. That's what my classroom is after hours - it's quiet with no people and the perfect place for me to sit and organize my notes, thoughts, and stuff for class. Except, I can't do that with 1 - 6 students hanging around in there.

It wouldn't be so bad if they were quietly doing their homework. Or quietly reading a book. Or doing anything quietly. However, they all have to talk to me nonstop about their lives. Their lives are always so pressing and important that they need my attention and I end up just starting my paperwork, grading, filing, and thinking at 430 to 530 at night when they finally leave.

It's so hard to tell a child that is trying to unload on me about their parents who fight all night and keeps them awake that I need to file. It sounds so pathetic in comparison. However, I keep staying later and later and going home later and later. That means that I don't get to my graduate homework until later and later. And I'm becoming more underslept than usual. Not good.

I need to put a cap on it. I need to be strong and for the sake of my own life put up limits. I can't give away everything to the students for nothing back. I will give up lots of my time, money, energy, and sanity to help them but only if it does some good. Just listening to them, I fear, won't have as much of a positive effect as helping them succeed in school. I want them educated to make their way in life as they choose, not to be their shrink. Frankly, I'm not qualified for that.

It's just so hard to look a child that needs someone to listen in the eyes and say "no." I remember what that was like and how much I needed someone to listen.

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