Throwing Myself Through Empty Space 

I am entering my students’ midterm grades and things are not  looking good… I am absolutely panicking. I woke up 2 hours ago at 3:00 and cannot get back to sleep because I am afraid that my students will all fail fourth grade and never graduate or get a job and I will get fired and never get another job because I have no idea what I am doing! 

I feel like when I made the jump from kindergarten to fourth grade it was like trying to jump up a whole flight of stairs. Except the stairs in the middle are not there. And now I am barely hanging onto the top step  and have no idea how I am going to pull myself up. Also there are 28 students holding on to me and expecting me to pull them up. I don’t think I can really do that… 

I have never even tried to go from one step to another just walking and now I have no choice but to not fall. I don’t know what to do. Behavior management is tricky but honestly kids who are six and kids who are ten basically have the same behavior problems but in terms of work this is completely different. I have never graded a paper that was an actual grade in my life. I have always had a checklist of things my students should be able to do and they either could do it or could not and I went from there. 

Now they can know part of something and get partial credit and things move so fast and some of my students are already so far behind. I wanted to teach kindergarten for a reason. I wanted to make sure things got off to the start that they should. I wanted letter sounds and shapes and writing a sentence or two at a time so that we could focus on making everything just right. Now I am teaching reading, writing, spelling, grammar, math, science, and Indiana history every day and no one is learning anything because there is too much I have to cover to really take time to learn it. 

Everyone keeps saying, “it is your first year. You are going to make mistakes.” But it is the only year I have these students unless they have to repeat and it seems like it will be all my fault and I feel like I can’t do anything to help them because I have no idea what I am doing either… 

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