Three Month Slump

There’s something called the “three month slump”, and I think I’m about to smack right into it. It’s true that time shoots by quickly here, but it just seems like it has been one of those weeks. All I want for lunch is cheesey donkas, and now the kimbap lady knows my order by heart. What can I say, I’m just not into lettuce or cabbage of any kind. Lesson plans for next week were due today, and I noticed I was one of the last people to sign my name for completing them (on Thursday). That really bums me out since I’ve been completing them by Tuesday at the latest. While I finished my AMPXs (the students’ report cards), pretty early, I just feel run down.

It’s the first full week of the new session. We have changed desks and classes. We’ve extended our class times and operating hours. I’m working with curriculum I haven’t touched before and is, in my opinion, too simplistic for the class using it. I’ve had six kids cry this week, one of them two days in a row. Four over homework and two because of bullies. One class has a whole group of bullies in it who are decently behaved until you step out of the classroom when the bell rings. They’ve managed to make other kids leave the school because they’re so mean. Parents are calling asking why the teachers aren’t signing/checking/writing homework down when we are. There are some kids who are not wanting to do their work and then cropping attitude with me when I say it’s not acceptable. Kids who don’t care about their work, don’t read the directions, or just refuse to do their work and then expect rewards or help. There are classes where the difference in ability is so vast that I just don’t feel like we’re doing any learning. We’re just getting “work” done and moving on to the next thing.

There are those couple of kids who just make it a little bit easier, but with the rearranged classes, well, sometimes it’s not so helpful. Honestly, I’m tired of being a behavior monitor and doling out worksheets. I want to get excited about the material we’re going to learn and get them excited about it too. There are just times I feel we don’t have the resources to expand a lesson because of where we’re located and what we do. They’re here to learn English, and that’s primarily done in the classroom.

This first week of change is apparently the hardest, and then after a one to two week adjustment period, things should be running smoothly again. The kids have to decide if they like you, and you have to get used to the materials they’re using in class. I’m okay with being seen as a “hard” or “strict” teacher. It’s not my favorite part of the job, but I’m okay with it. I just can’t wait to feel like I know what I’m doing again.