Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mrs. Laniel and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I knew I was in for it when my 25 year oldish {I KNOW!!!} alarm clock was killed last night...by me.
I spilled some water and I didn't {for some God forsaken reason!} clean up UNDER my old reliable...
To say I "lost" it would be an understatement.
{Please don't ask Brian about it...the extent of my tantrum is a little embarrassing ...}
Suffice it to say I am
kind of devastated about the whole thing.
 I have used the red glow of the numbers as a comfort of sorts when I wake up in the night...
I have relied on that clock to get me to another morning...
and it's gone.
So, as a result, I didn't sleep very well...

A bit groggy and out of it, I drove to school wondering how my 6th and 7th graders did for the sub I had yesterday when I was at some meetings.
{I didn't even get to use a sub day for a "me day" but for a work day--totally not worth the work of having a sub!}

When I arrived, I got my answer.
First, my room was a MESS! Papers were everywhere and everything seemed out of place. It's kinda like someone came into my house as if to steal something...it feels very invasive and icky.
Then, my teaching neighbors came in to tell me how terrible my kids were.
The gist?
It was complete and utter chaos.
I went to the office to get the note from the sub and this is what he wrote:
I believe these are some really mentally sick kids. May God help them recover…”
I know, right?!
Demoralized doesn't really begin to capture my feelings...I was angry, hurt, annoyed and sad that my kids chose to be so rotten.
During my plan, I wrote out a whole "rant" that I expressed to my kids the rest of the day--things about being respectful, about how they need to choose who they are going to be. (Rotten or awesome?)
I stood there pleading with them to have a "big picture" approach to life...
"Who do you want to BE in life?"
 "What do you want to accomplish?"
I told them that choosing to be animals for a sub begins habits of BEing disrespectful and
that it will get you nowhere!
Oh I ranted...

 As I ranted on, I tried to figure out why I was saying what I was saying...I was trying to figure out why I care so deeply. One of the conclusions I have come to today is that I take teaching and the 150 souls in front of me very seriously. 
They are a part of me.
I truly want them to be successful, I want them to be people of stellar character, I want them to feel safe and okay about who they are.  
Heck! They're my kids!
I know that teaching is a 'full investment' career, so I try to give 100% of myself every day.
 {I think this is why I crave space! Hello, CABIN!?}

But I also realized that I need to take it easy on myself and remember my mom's advice:
Our best qualities are also our worst qualities.

So, yes, I care deeply for my kids but I also need to step back and not take
 their actions so personally.
I need to know that their behavior is not a reflection of me.
I need to know that I am not the ones that are causing them to be "mentally sick". 
I can only do what I can do...I have to trust that it's enough. 

I am sure I will still rant--and I may even cry over things that happen. But, if I can be true to myself through the process; if I can own up to all the good, bad and ugly parts of me, I can have peace.

So, yes, I have had a relatively terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day today...
but I know that I can learn from this, and I can:
or least try to...

I also know that a trip to Target is in my future {which is always a happy place!}
and I will be getting a new alarm clock--with red numbers that glow.
Because maybe all I need is a good night's sleep. :)

I did get this {unsolicited} note today:
It helped a lot.
Especially this part:
"I might not be your favorite student but either way this class is the best."


  1. You can only control you and what you do...what they do is not in your control. Let go of thinking that you can control those animals! You are awesome!

  2. Awesome story! Awesome message! Keep on, Kari!

  3. They are lucky to have such a compassionate and caring person as their teacher who wants to educate the whole child and not just an aspect of their academic education. For all its ups and downs, you know you are exactly where you are meant to be because you chose to stay and 'teach' them instead of going home, or moving to Australia :) You are amazing and I admire how you chose to handle a trying situation :)

  4. I love this! But, I am a bit sad that Ashlie's favorite class is reading and not ELD!

  5. This post makes me miss teaching so much, even those bad days are worth it when you get feedback from a student like that. Hope tomorrow is better!

  6. Just found your blog through the Girl Party Link up from last week! :)
    Sorry you had such a bad day, but what a cute letter at the end!



  7. Awww, you're the best Kari because you care so much!!! And remember, everyone has terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days days from time to time...even in Australia!