#MTBos to Rescue

Okay, I admit it.  Friday was a bad day for me.  By the time I got to the end of the day, I had no patience left.  I was tired of students not focusing.  Yes, I knew it was Friday.  Yes, I knew it was the last period.  That didn’t matter.  They should WANT to learn from ME. Afterall, it was just a review.  We had worked so hard all week.  It was time to recap and prepare to wrap up our unit.  This should be easy.

There was way TOO much excitement in this group about the weekend for teacher led review to take place.  So, I stopped.  I rolled my chair to the time-out spot near the door and sat down.  I was done.  If they didn’t want to hear me, then so be it.  Let them learn it on their own.  Yes, I was mad. But, yelling at this group (or any group for that matter) was not the right thing to do.  So, I got quiet.

Those that know me know that I am NOT known for being quiet.  I am a very passionate teacher.  I’m the one that jumps around the room.  I incorporate technology with my one computer and a projector.  My classes are almost never quiet rows of students waiting to learn.  I know this.  But, there are times where we need quiet reflection.  Friday needed to be one of those days.

It took them a few minutes to realize that I had “quit”.  A few minutes more and a couple of students bravely brought their books to me and asked questions.  I answered quietly and with a smile on my face.  Yes, some (okay most) of my students were working.  Some were quietly chatting with their neighbors.  I was quiet.  Questions shouted across the room got no response from me.  Soon, students asked if they could sit with me so they could focus.  Of course.  Whatever it takes to help you learn.

At the end of the day, I realized I had been the one that failed that day.  I let it get to me.  I took it personally.  I shouldn’t have.  I should have realized that they are the kids and I am the adult.  It is my JOB to provide them what they needed.  I could have handled it so much better.

When I got home, I jumped on twitter.  “I need a geometry teacher. #MTBos”.  I didn’t know where to turn, but I knew I had recently connected with people that did.  Sure enough, within a few minutes (maybe seconds) a friendly reply came.  “What can I do to help?”  I spent several minutes (okay maybe more like an hour) chatting with a variety of people about motivation.  They all helped me realize that I was the one that needed motivation.  I was the one that was tired.  I was the one that needed inspiration.

Thanks to the Math-Twitter-Blog-o-sphere (#MTBos), I have found myself again.  I would list all their twitter handles, but there were really too many people reaching out to mention.  I thank you all.  I do think my students would thank you as well.

7 thoughts on “#MTBos to Rescue

  1. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Fridays can be tough, especially those last two “gateway” periods until the weekend! Review days are hard too, some kids need way more help, and some are way behind. I almost always do scavenger hunts now so students can work at their own pace. Also, I can sit with students who need and WANT to work with me on these days.

    You sound like an amazing teacher! I’m so happy that the wonderful #MTBoS peeps made you feel better. Sometimes all you need is someone (who truly understand) to talk to. It’s why I love this community!

    • Thanks for the support. I always push for bell to bell engagement as much as possible. Friday was just too much. I’m ready for Monday with fresh new ideas thanks to #MTBos

  2. I love this post for a few reasons.

    First, the second and third paragraph could describe me to a T. My students know my anger not from when I yell, but from when I STOP yelling. I am highly animated in class and my anger and frustration manifest in the form of stillness.

    Second, The rest of it could apply to me as well! 🙂 I find so much strength from MTBoS in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. This is the first year in many that I have actually enjoyed teaching like I used to. I attribute ALL of that to the people and resources that I have found on Twitter and the blog-o-sphere.

    We all need to be reminded that we are not alone. The people who teach in the same school that we do often have the same jaded opinion that we do and, as a result, aren’t always able to offer a sympathetic ear.
    “You have **student A** in your class? Oh yeah?? Well, I have **student B**!” may be true, but it’s not always helpful and it’s rarely what we need to hear.

    By not knowing our students, “strangers” on the internet are able to offer content solutions rather than “don’t worry about it! That kid is just as asshole.”

    I am so glad that I’ve come in contact with you and I hope that you’ll be able to come to Twitter Math Camp this year! I think that it will help to energize you in ways you never thought possible.

    Keep up the good and, as always, hit me up if you need anything!

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