holding emotion

I’ve written about this before. Yesterday I felt stressed – nervous, anxious, slightly on edge – and not because of me. We are starting an exam period (what a lovely way to come back from a 2 week vacation…not) and yesterday was the first of them. The exam began with some argument about what to do, how it didn’t make sense, how there was no way that they could finish in 2 hours.

It is especially during these kinds of situations that I realize part of my job is to manage emotion and in doing so, hold it.

I could have snapped back but I kept my voice low and calm. I moved from student to student, tried to connect with them individually, to let them know I see their stress, their frustration – the exam was a French one, a compulsory course that many students have a huge brick wall up about – and that they needed to plow on despite that.

Slowly, the room became still, with just a spattering of complaint toward the end of the period, when students became worried about finishing on time.

I was in bed by 7:30 last night though!

they were the best of times…

…they were the – you get the idea.

Yesterday I signed all of the paperwork then waited around for 5 hours and got the keys to my new house! I didn’t really wait around as much as drove around – luckily my father decided to take the day off of work to accompany me. We went out for lunch, we drove around the countryside, he bought me a mailbox – the kind with the little red flag to tell me when I have mail (original ‘you’ve got mail’ notification). We checked out the painting that was begun on my house. It’s barn board grey, which will look nice with the red roof.

That evening my car decided to go berserk and this morning I had to tow it to the dealership, making me late for work. A whole bunch of money later and it’s well again.

Today one of my students didn’t show for an important exam. He’s sabotaging himself and I can’t help but feel wounded myself.

Tomorrow we will have our closing ceremonies and our computer that has all of the certificates I need to print and then laminate to hand out during the ceremony decided to stop working. I’m also in charge of the decorating committee so tomorrow will be a long day.

Then I move on Saturday morning.

I’m so thankful for…

Life is good and so much easier because of all of you.

Cherishing the quiet moments

A day with similar temperatures, about 2 years ago. It was frigid, as it is today. So cold smoke froze in the air. Click image for source.

A day with similar temperatures, about 2 years ago. It was frigid, as it is today. So cold smoke froze in the air. Click image for source.

When I went to bed last night it was -1 degree Celsius outside. This morning Montreal woke to a temperature of -23 with a wind chill factor of -36 and the news that it will stay that way, maybe even getting colder, until Monday. Cold as all get out.

It wasn’t easy getting started this morning, but now I’m in my classroom alone at my desk with a warm cup of green tea steaming in front of me. My students are about to start a Science exam in another room – it’s needed to graduate and all of the kids have failed it at least once already, some up to 4 times. But I didn’t teach them Science this year, so their Science teacher is with them while I have a few precious hours to myself in my classroom. Wow. That hasn’t happened since … hmmm … last term maybe?

So I am cherishing this time I have to clean my desk, organize my papers, and even update this blog during the day. Wow!

I teach Grade 10 English and Grade 11 English, so I have two sets of different written productions to go through and assess. I also teach Grade 11 Student in Society and I have their end of term written reflections to read and assess.

And of course, I need to prepare for the final History tutorial that will take place at 2:30 today because tomorrow morning Collin will have his precious classroom time while I invigilate a History exam that the students are all writing for at least the 2nd time, some for the 3rd, 4th, or more time. Not to mention begin preparing the Economics course that replaces the History course once the exam is written.

Is it end of term for you as well? How is it going for you?