It's very hard to be a good coach and a good teacher. I've been just getting by nearly every day.
Today, I somehow whipped up a quiz just before my sophomores started class, because I wanted to see that they've learned what they needed to learn about Whitman and Dickinson, but also because I just couldn't imagine filling 48 minutes of time in front of them with the lesson that I had. My junior classes are going slightly easier, as every day I randomly pull a couple names from a pile to do an oral project, and we're working on other things as well. Still, it feels like I've got so many things up in the air right now that something is going to fall to the ground.
I think my exhaustion this year as opposed to past years has to do with not having an afternoon planning period, to to the recent (and still unfolding) move. I usually have been given my last period as a planning period when I coach. That hasn't happened this year, and thus I have to leave my classes unattended when I have to travel to away games. Finding a substitute is impossible; often, substitutes aren't found for teachers who call in sick, so kids are left without supervision throughout the building every day. Luckily, I teach very good kids in the afternoon, but there are way too many of them in the classes (high 30s) and that's simply too many kids to be sitting there alone, even if I do leave them great work to do.
So, tomorrow, I'll be okay with a rainout.
Overall, it's just been a long week. Yesterday, I ended up in the middle of a fight between two groups of girls. I knew one of them, a smart spitfire I taught last year, who now was crying, her breath heaving, her hair mangled, and walked her back to the department office - we have no phones, so it wasn't like we could call anyone, even when a major fight breaks out - and thought I calmed her down. I got her some water. A few minutes later, she asked to go to the bathroom, so I escorted her downstairs to the bathroom and then to the main office; I figured the halls would be calmed by now. However, on the way, she saw the group of girls again, and she threw the cup of water at them. I tackled her, and we both hit the floor in a heap. I'm a lot stronger than these girls, and was okay, but I also heard that my 60-something year old female boss was tripped during the melee - she took a sick day today because she was in pain from it.
Today, I got in a big conflict with a student who had skipped my class yesterday. Somehow, I snatched a hat off her head (after she put it on right after I asked her nicely to take it off) and sent her to the office, after she rudely told me she didn't owe me an explanation for missing my class (I saw her a few minutes before the bell rang to start my class). This is uncharacteristic behavior for me, but, I have to say, she's a little jerk and deserved it. Still, the whole last two days have left a bitter taste in my mouth, which only disippated after baseball season (which was really great, even though it was against the backdrop of a softball bat attack on the grounds from a rival school that had let out early because the kids had set the building on fire).
Is it spring break yet? At least it's Friday.
I need to concentrate on the good: the wonderful discussion I had about the first few paragraphs of Song of Solomon in my 8th period, the fun "Imagine a date between Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson" assignment we worked in in 4th period (kids have to imagine a conversation between the two of them, integrating lines of their poetry into the dialogue), my players who asked to stay later after practice to work on fly balls and blocking pitches, the fact that we got our first two bats in two years today...
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