One really difficult thing about teaching is that if there’s a bump in your day, it’s not typically possible to take a breather to shake it off. You have one irritating conversation, or you realize you forgot something, or you happen to see a grumpy email reminder, and then you turn around and all of your eager, energetic kids are still sitting there staring straight at you.
And in that moment it seems like they have 100 more questions than typical, everyone is having bathroom emergencies, and their neediness multiplies exponentially.
And then your already waning tolerance drops below the floor and you think to yourself, “Why are they all acting like this? Is there something in the air? Can’t they all just get themselves together?”
And if you’re in a situation like me, there’s no prep period on the horizon. And there are probably several more hours left in the day.
This happened today.
It’s like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Everything is cyclical. Cyclical also means predictable, and today in the midst of that falling tolerance I even said to myself, “Come on, snap out of this, it’s you that’s now in a bad mood, not them.” I took a deep breath, quieted my voice, and decided to read a story aloud instead of the more involved activity that I had planned to do.
If I can’t run out of the room, get a latte, and sip it outside in the beautiful sun, then my next best option is to read a story aloud. It’s impressively calming.
Of course, the story didn’t prevent my satisfying dose of venting when I got home, but at least it was a step in the right direction!