Monday, October 7, 2013

Murphy's Law of Classroom Juju

(And for the record, I think Murphy is a douchebag.)  (Also, I hope you didn't fall out of your chair/burn yourself with coffee/shit yourself when you saw that I had a new post.  It's been awhile.)  (Did I mention that I had another mini???  Wondering how long that excuse is valid.)

Here is Murphy's Law of Classroom Juju.  Hold up, do I need to define Classroom Juju for you?  When I say "Classroom Juju," I am referring to that feeling in your classroom as well as that feeling you get about yourself as a teacher.  It's your vibe, how you're rolling, you know...how you doin'? 

Okay.  Back to Murphy's Law of Classroom Juju.  According to Murphy's Law, a fabulous day in the classroom will be followed immediately by a day that makes you want to light your own hair on fire.  And not in the Rafe Esquith way, in the holy-hell-are-you-kidding-me way.  (Please notice that this law can also be reversed...unbelievably difficult days can be followed by fantastic days.  But because I am a bit of a cynic, I see it the other way.)

Picture it:  A crisp fall day.  Your morning meeting? Slammin'.  Your reading and writing instruction?  Epic.  Your students independence and stamina?  Unparalleled.  Your math lesson?  Unreal.  Student level of enthusiasm?  Stoked.  Your content area instruction?  Hot.  Read aloud?  Bananas good.  Classroom management?  The stuff of genius.  All in all, you are on your way back to your classroom after dismissal feeling as if you have this week in the bag.  You can practically hear your own theme music following you up the stairs.  Your after school routine (You DO have an after school routine, don't you?)  (You need the routine.)  is easy, breezy, beautiful.  You chat with a few colleagues, there are no pop up meetings or assessments.  You pack your bag that does NOT have a cockroach in it and head home.  You may even have time to hit the gym.  Say whaaaaa????

Cut to the next day.  OH THE NEXT DAY.  From the moment you pick your friends up from where ever you pick them up from, they act like it is the first day of school and they have no idea what your routine or rules might be.  You're all, "Guys, it's totally like the 40th day of school."  And they're all, "What's your name again?"  as they throw their homework folders just anywhere (The bin is labeled, people!), shout out that they left their books at home and then proceed to chit chat as opposed to getting down to the business of their morning work.  One student has a meltdown during reading, the gym teacher tells you "your class acted out of control" like there was something you could do through telekinesis while you weren't in the actual gym at the time of said loss of control, and your lunch sucked.  On the way back to your classroom after finally FINALLY dismissing your class, you get stopped in the hall by an administrator who wants to know when you're going to turn in the data, the data, must have the data! 

I'm telling you, to be a teacher you have either got to be the most Zen, balanced chick on the planet OR enjoy riding the emotional ebbs and flows.  What does it say about our confidence that even I (who is in possession of a fairly strong sense of self and capacity if I do say so myself) feel crushed and worthless at the end of a day like this?

18 comments:

Briana said...

Oh, I SO needed to read this today! So glad to hear it from someone else. Your humor (as always) has woken me up from the piles of papers I'm correcting (read: papers I'm avoiding while on facebook). Thank you!

MrsBoylan said...

(((HUGS)))

That was totally my day (week) last week. Still picking up the pieces.

Briana said...

Oh, I SO needed to read this today! So glad to hear it from someone else. Your humor (as always) has woken me up from the piles of papers I'm correcting (read: papers I'm avoiding while on facebook). Thank you!

4321Teach said...

I missed you Mimi!
This post made me laugh.
So much truth.
I almost never want the report from the lunch room or the gym teacher. (30 mins versus hours of the day. Just sayin'.)
May the force of good classroom Juju be with you!

EmilyK

Jenann said...

This was so my day today! I blamed it on the hot air balloons we had all over the city!! Thanks for helping me not feel so alone!

Ms C said...

So good to have you back. Your post has meant my Tuesday is off to a good start :)
Liked the bit about maybe having time for the gym on the way home - I am actually, finally, making inroads to the whole work-life balance thing!

Stu said...

Welcome back, Mimi. Congrats on the new mini-you!

CarolynWG said...

Hysterical. I usually have experienced the opposite effect you mention--I would have a day that made me want to leave the profession entirely and never see another child, and the next day would enter 25 little cherubs who looked like their mouths wouldn't melt butter. (of course this usually only lasted until about gym class when....)

Jan Priddy, Oregon said...

That it exactly how yesterday went—down down down. Except ...when did I have that epic day again? (I might be doing this in reverse, which suggests I am OWED a smashing-wonderful day!)

Mrs. Gumby said...

Good to see you posting again! Congrats on the new mini-mimi!

KrisTen said...

Oh how I've missed you:). Thank you!!!!

MamaBear said...

I was JUST commiserating with a friend about this exact thing! If I leave one day feeling like a superhero, I inevitably find myself a complete failure of a human being the next day...and, thank goodness, vice versa.

Rainbow Motel said...

We had professional development today. Or, as I like to call it: SOMEONE DOWNTOWN NEEDS JUSTIFICATION FOR THEIR JOB AND ALL I GOT WAS EIGHT HOURS SITTING IN A HARD WOODEN CHAIR.

Emily said...

I'm a current student teacher, and this post was really refreshing to read. I'm really looking forward to graduating and getting a teaching job, but it's nice to hear someone get "real" about it. My fellow student teachers and I all went into our placements this fall with a summer of grad classes under our belts, not totally sure of what we were headed in to, and your post pretty much sums up what I found. It's good to know that even veteran teachers have "those days," but also encouraging to be reminded that the laws of juju say a better one will be right around the corner!

Coaching U Well said...

Enjoyed your writing. Please continue to share your musings. I've taught for 35 years and feel fortunate to have had days of both description.....the upswing days help keep our heads in the clouds where we can dream of accomplishing the impossible with our students; downswing days keep us grounded and real for our students. We need both.

sharon at teachinghelpdesk.com

eric brown said...

Informative ! a very informative article. the writer has sweeped all the main facets. I am indeed impressed by the information spread throughout this blog.
Bravo! Keep up the good work.

Brian Stewart said...

Great post. Way to summarize what so many teachers go through on a daily basis.

Lynda Williams said...

Oh…wow…I love funny teaching stories. :) Thank you for sharing. Teaching Science With Lynda

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