I had a very frustrating day today, thanks to a parent conference. I can't go into too much detail because of confidentiality, but I can tell you this: basically every aspect of my teaching style was challenged. What upset me the most was how the person kept saying that my lack of structure and classroom management was what caused the child to misbehave. Now, if you know me, you know that I CRAVE structure and management! To describe my class as unstructured is just ridiculous! If anything, I go overboard with the micromanaging. Nevertheless, it upset me that the person would even consider that.
It was also said that I was the meanest teacher in 4th grade. I guess you should fill in all of the kids from my very first class that still keep in touch with me even though they are in 8th grade now! You might also want to tell that to the 5th graders who hug me and tell me they miss me whenever they see me in the hallway. I have 3 students who come during bus dismissal to tutor and help around the classroom. Maybe I scared them into it! Oh, and don't forget my current students who email me on the weekends and evenings just to say hi! I'm sure they're trembling....*sigh* I'm so sensitive. I have gotten thicker skin over the last 6 years, but things like this still really bother me. To my credit though, I did not cry (until after...) I even let the person know that I didn't like how the person was putting me on the defensive so much. Yay me!! :)
On top of all of that, I had more sadness this week. One of my sweet students from last year (another terrorized child, I'm sure) lost her dad yesterday to ALS--Lou Gehrig's Disease. Yes, we all knew that it was only a matter of time, but it doesn't make it any easier. The coolest thing about this girl is that when she heard that some of her friends were really hurting and upset for her, she asked to come in and have a "surprise lunch" with them. She wanted to let them know herself that she was okay and that she was glad that her dad wasn't in pain anymore. The girl who is grieving is encouraging her friends! What an amazing girl! She came to see me today while she was here and seemed to be doing really well. She is missing her dad, of course, but I think it is comforting for her to know that he is whole again.
On another note, the wife of my friend from college whose baby is developing abnormally will be having a C-section next Tuesday. Please pray for them--they are really struggling with the realization that they are going to lose their son. They are still praying for a miracle because they know that God can do it, so please join them! My heart hurts for them...
Okay, this was a very negative and downhearted post. Let's leave on a positive note: The other day, Caleb's diaper stayed dry overnight and then he peed a river in the potty the next morning! I was cheering him on! :)