Today, I Cried At School

I was sitting at my computer desk, back turned to my students playing in the room. My eyes started getting a wee bit wet, and my nose and collar bones felt hot.
Then I heard my name 6 times in rapid succession from a tiny voice behind me.

Me: “Yes? What is it? I’m a bit busy right now.”

Student: “Can I go get my snack? …Are you crying?”

WOW. Well I just got your peer to practice saying the /f/ sound for the last 20 minutes without success but YOU realize I’m CRYING.

Me: “I’m just feeling a bit sad now. Wash your hands and go get your snack.”

Student: “OK.”

It was 1:47 PM and I just had to let it all out. There at my desktop, I cried. Speaking of snacks, I thought to myself, I need some cookies right now. TIME TO STRESS EAT.
I had just had two very unsuccessful speech group practice activities. One group was working on expressive language. The next group was working on the /f/ sound. It went awful. Terrible. That’s ACTUALLY what I wrote on the small group work sheet that tracks the dates and times they come to see me. It ACTUALLY says “terrible” on the page.

I cried for the students I couldn’t help say the /f/ sound clearly.
I cried for the student who came to me begging to play the expressive language game, even though her expressive language skills were just fine.
I cried for the same student who asked me if she could leave after two turns because the pace of the game was too slow
I cried for her again when I saw her wandering around the room aimlessly, bored at having nothing challenging enough to do.
I cried for her once more when I just wanted her to choose something to play with that would make her happy. Because she is a kid.
I cried for the student who I had to make a play schedule for because he is too immature to pick a spot in the room to play for more than 1.5 minutes.
I cried later on in the day when I had a social worker visit me asking if a certain student had confided anything in me lately. Any teacher who has ever had a social worker visit them knows what that means.
I cried thinking of how fortunate I am to have a great student teacher and then cried some more thinking of how I am possibly going to continue the rest of the year by myself when she is gone.
I cried at the fact I didn’t pack cookies for a snack today. Because I really needed those friggin cookies.

I pouted a bit to my #kinderchat and #wtdk friends on Twitter. Then I picked myself up, and moved on with the day.

I cried for the weak. I cried for the strong. Today was a day where I worried about every single one of my students and it became too much. I worry about each of them every single day, but today was just one of those days. Tomorrow is a new day.

Then I came home and ate some cookies. And some squares. Because they were right next to the cookies.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie Wallace
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 09:22:36

    Hugs.

    Reply

  2. Cathy
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 13:27:15

    Today I went from wanting to cry for my students to wanting to shake them in anger and frustration, to wanting to hug them for their joy at successful research. Thanks for saying what I sometimes want to say too!

    Reply

  3. Caitie
    Nov 26, 2014 @ 14:13:17

    I’m a school psych (home now with kids) and I had many days like this. I hope Thanksgiving gives you peace and energy to make it til the next break 🙂

    Reply

  4. Chantelle
    Nov 27, 2014 @ 07:30:14

    Aww girl, I know exactly what you mean about having those difficult moments in K. Remember, the alternative is that nobody is even attempting to help them. We care, and so we try the best we can. And sometimes despite all of that, on a vraiment juste besoin d’un biscuit!

    Reply

  5. shoes
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 20:23:48

    I totally understand that need to cry for the students. I am a first year teacher working in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona at a Title I school. This Thanksgiving, while I was sitting with family around a full table, I worried about my students – a whole week off school – wondering how their week was going.

    And I just have to say that those cookies, especially the square ones, look divine! Please eat one or two for me, will you?

    Reply

  6. Gvaughn
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 20:40:14

    You know I have felt the very same way many many times. Teaching is not a job, it’s a way of life. Bless you for all you do. Thanks to all of us who feel your pain!!

    Reply

  7. Nefertari Thompson
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 20:43:04

    Keep praying – We do this for the kids! I have cried for the 10+ students who have lost their lives.

    Reply

  8. Kris Boydstun
    Nov 30, 2014 @ 21:34:04

    Some days are so overwhelming. Our responsibilities are too many, and we beat ourselves up when we can’t accomplish all for everyone–including ourselves. Hugs to you. Remember that there have been many successful days. Sometimes it feels like that are too few and far between, but kids do flourish and learn. They also learn that struggling can make them strong. Hang in there! We’re all right there with you!

    Reply

  9. Robin
    Dec 01, 2014 @ 02:54:41

    Thank you for sharing. A former student recently committed suicide & I fell apart in my 3rd period class – the same class period I had him. One of my students saw me & just hugged me & told me it would be okay. What a sweet sweet child for lifting me up when my heart was breaking. Praying for you to be lifted up too.

    Reply

  10. Kyle Johnson
    Dec 01, 2014 @ 03:47:11

    We cry because we care. We cry because we may be the only one in this child’s life who cares enough to cry for them. We are teachers.

    Reply

  11. jeandayfriday
    Dec 02, 2014 @ 17:02:36

    I can completely relate. Teaching is so much more than just being in front of the classroom. Sometimes we are the only ones who care about the kids in our classes. Thank you for this post.

    Reply

  12. Joy
    Feb 25, 2015 @ 16:53:25

    Very much enjoyed the read. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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