I met with my real time coach on Wednesday, and the title of this post is a direct quote from our convo. She told me that I have to watch my tone—that I was mean to my kids, and she wouldn’t want to learn from me either. She is big on no-nonsense nurture; heavy on the “No-Nonsense”. I super appreciate her, and I know she is right, but I didn’t feel comfortable sharing how I felt with her, so instead I angrily stabbed my vegetables and avoided eye contact. Honestly, I felt angry. I am angry. I told her that. I hate the school in which I work. I struggle to get out of my car many days. When I told her that, she asked me what I thought my kids felt each day. This is not a thought that has escaped me. I know that they have no out, that they want to be there less than I do, and that having a crazy frustrated teacher doesn’t help things. However, her reminding me of that only served to make me feel inadequate and frankly a bit resentful. Resentful of the lack of training I have, resentful of the lack of support in my school, resentful that I was essentially set up to suck for at least the first few months. Since I view resentment as a useless reaction, I chose to remain silent. I told her that what I was thinking wouldn’t serve to move the conversation forward or to help my kids, and if I wanted to change my mindset, it would start with what I say. In light of that, I chose to remain silent. She could see the validity in that.
Thankfully, my meeting with my MTLD was directly after that. She is much more of a “Warm-fuzzy nurturer” which I suppose makes for a good balance. I bawled for a bit. She validated my feelings, agreed that my training was inadequate, but that I am what my kiddos have. It’s not like there are effective veteran teachers lining up to work in KCPS. She also offered to come in my classroom and help me for a few hours to organize and help me feel more settled (the lack of order has been a consistent complaint of mine since the first week of school). She told me that regardless of the BS in my school and my district, I could create a refuge in my classroom. A place where all the craziness goes away, and I can enjoy my time with my kids. I look forward to the day when that happens.
The last two days I’ve been much more aware of my tone, I’ve also been much more effective in my behavior management. I still have a long way to go, but I suppose my RTC is doing her job well because I’m definitely getting better at my job.