This is the time when I review the week in my head and weigh what went well and what could use some improving.
I have 3 kids in my class that will be attending counseling soon. Emotionally, they're on the fringe. All boys. I've had to handle things differently with them. One I knew about, the other two I discovered had some emotional problems in the first couple of days. One is ADHD whose mom slips his meds into his breakfast each morning, one has abandonment issues because his parents sent him here to the US to live while they stayed behind in Mexico (years ago,) and one is from a family where the dad died and he's got emotional and self-control issues.
When I weigh what went well, I feel like I have done pretty well with these 3 boys, showing patience and understanding. Knowing their situation helps me with my reactions a lot.
Of course, in the neighborhood where I teach, practically every kid has a story, it is just a matter of learning what they are over time.
When I think about what I can do better, I think I need to do a better job of picking my battles with the group as a whole. With 34 kids, I definitely have to be strict, but I know I'm going wear myself out a lot sooner if I try to correct every little behavior flaw. I'm lightening up on the uniform policy a tiny bit because I just don't have the energy to say "Please tuck in your shirt" 100 times a day to the boys who where them down to their knees. I'm focusing more on self-control, honesty, and respect. Hopefully the little things will follow.
Yesterday we had a training all day and no students. Easy money, a day without stress. I got to meet with my grade level for a while and we navigated throughout the district's website, which was helpful.
After school I went to my Mom's house to spend time with her and my nephew. We took Alexander to our Friday night sushi dinner and then to Macy's. We went to my favorite Macy's, which is on Lake Ave in Pasadena. It isn't part of a mall, and is an old building that has been refurbished, but still has some great older touches to it, like frosted art deco designs in the glass windows and old staircases that take you decades back in time. I took advantage of the Estee Lauder gift with purchase, my mom used a coupon from the newspaper, and Alexander got to experiment with taking things off the rack and then putting them back. At least he put everything back the same way!
Then we came home, packed up his things and drove him to my brother's apartment. I came home and got caught up some more on Grey's Anatomy episodes. Sleep came great and lasted long.
Hooray for the weekend. They always come at the right time...