There's no way around it, some teaching days are tough.
Today was one of those days.
What made it tough?
First, it was the confluence of needs that arose all at once--while I was trying to help students make sense of math concepts, other children were displaying needs in the social-emotional realm. There was one of me and a number of needs at once. It's frustrating to have to stop the learning to deal with social-emotional issues, but as we all know, it's part of the jobl
Next, it's that time of year when we're moving from get-to-know-each-other activities to the hard work of learning. While I try to make lessons engaging, the truth is an engaging lesson for one child may not be an engaging lesson for another child, and some concepts simply don't lend themselves well to pure joy--some concepts demand hard work to learn and not every child is eager for hard work.
There was also the factor that in our full inclusion school, students receive multiple services and it takes time to coordinate all those services in just right ways--that challenge is particularly steep at this time of year as we solidify the routines for all service delivery.
Having an extra busy weekend and a few other unknowns also added to the mix. Tough days like this also have a way of helping you see what children need. For example, today's math lesson demonstrated tome that some students need more structure than I originally thought. It also reminded me that for children to work well independently, they have to clearly understand the parameters. As Ruth Charney taught, don't assume anything.
Monday is my most difficult day of the week this year so I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day. Onward.