Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 08 2013

In which it’s a question of degrees

Comparisons are deadly.

A few months ago, I had a case of viral Crud that kept me feeble for weeks.  I came to work every day with my low grade fever and kept all of the lights off in my classroom to delay the inevitable daily migraine.  When TFA staff came in and made the entirely reasonable suggestion that it was more difficult for the children to read by the combination of lamp- and SMARTboard light, I decided that it would also be more difficult for them to read if I died, and kept the lights off.

2 days ago, I came down with a cute little head cold.  As I sniffle and slump around school and home and the world, acting like this little bout with minor illness may prove fatal at any second, I can’t possibly think back on Crud.  It ruins the illusion that what I’m experiencing now is Impossible and Difficult.

A year ago I held my sanity and my kids together with a tiny thread.  Generally speaking, every class period was a disaster waiting to happen.  My precious angels, in TFA-speak, were teetering from unruly and apathetic to dangerous and destructive on a minute-by-minute basis.  This year, one kid acts a fool, or one class period is chatty, and I find it horrifying.  If my thoughts wander back to last May, I discard it as if those much bigger problems happened to someone else, and my current struggles are Earth Shattering.

It’s all a question of degrees of magnitude.

Today is the last day of state testing (an event which incidentally is vastly more annoying this year than it was last year, I’m not sure why).  I will see all of my most precious angels fourteen more times before we’re all released into the agony (it’s boring) and bliss (it’s stress-less) 0f summer vacation.  It’s hard not to make comparisons at this point, hard not to wonder what I’ll be wondering next year at this time (and more to the point, where I’ll be when I’m wondering it).

But because comparisons are deadly (and really, with this cold, I’m already at death’s door), I think I’ll just focus on my route for pacing during testing and on sharpening yet more pencils.

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