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?