It's finals time, so I'm facing a stack of grading I need to get done so I can help my students figure out what they can do for the end of the semester grades.
The thing is it's been a long, hard day. I've had to work really hard be the proverbial duck in a rainstorm - to let the rude comments; the exaggerated yawns and the girl who yelled out "This is boring!" while I was mid-sentence; the student who refused to do any work today, including the mandatory vocab test; the girls who were "just playing" in the hall and who slammed into me; the glares; the heads down; the eye-rolling; the nastiness; and the constant "you're bugging me, Miss, so screw you" verbal and non-verbal messages roll off my back. I'm trying really, really hard to keep smiling, to keep joking, to keep pretending I care about subjects and predicates and to keep believing that this is what I want to do.
Then, after school just now, I walked back to my room to tackle the grading and found that on the poster I had made for my classroom door, the one with my name and room number on it that welcomes my students to class with a cheery, colorful fabric background, right under my name someone wrote "sucks" in large, permanent letters.
And while I'm glad the person spelled it right, I lost whatever energy has been carrying me. I just want to get in my car and find some place to be where I don't feel like a rotten teacher and an unattractive person. I'm exhausted, and I don't know if I can get up from the mat and start swinging again.
But I promised I'd give them progress reports tomorrow.