Erratic LIttle People

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pearls, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I'm about to retire from teaching - and none too soon. I've found that since I've been laid low with this DD the children are harder to take - a lot harder to take! They are erratic little people.

    You can be walking down the crowded hallway, minding your own business, when suddenly - without warning - a little person turns on his heels and practically runs right into you. That used to bother me - but nothing like it does now. Everything in me "screams" with alarm. They run past, they have no understanding of space, and how they - and you - fit into it. Their arms flail wildly and they yell and make noises for no reason at all. None of this would surprise anyone who works with children, but I've become extremely sensitive physically and mentally to all the erratic things they do.

    I have to constantly talk to myself about how I respond to them. I've become cranky and very impatient. I have to remind myself to smile at them when I greet them and not change into an old witch with the passing of time througout the day.

    Teaching is a delicate balancing act. A teacher has to make sure the children toe the line, but she cannot get too unfriendly in how she treats her class in a given period of time or the class as a group will pass a certain critical place where they begin to respond with hostility.

    The class is at that place now. Unfortunately, we have several months to go yet and a lot of learning has to take place. The children are acting like chickens when they sense something vunerable in another chicken. (Chickens who sense something vunerable will peck the other chicken to death.) I'm afraid the children are "pecking" at me now. Between now and June, instead of leveling with them about my illness as I have in the past, I'll have to cover up as much as I can so they won't find that vunerable part of me.

    I'm tired. I'm tired of my class, which does not listen and won't even try. I'm tired of many of the parents, who won't discipline their children so they'll be respectful in school. I'm tired of taking the blame for the failure of children who won't listen, think, or work. I've done my best. I can't "sing and dance" anymore. In fact, I'm "dancing as fast as I can."

    Oh, well. If I can get through this time, retirement awaits in June. Thank God!

    -Pearl,
    Who has always loved teaching until they made it just too hard (and I got sick, probably because of what I just said)
    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2003]
  2. LeLeHpr

    LeLeHpr New Member

    Hang in there Pearl..You are such an inspiration as you have hung in there this long...KNow your serenity is in sight and pray that God brings you through this too.

    Be blessed!
  3. RedB

    RedB New Member

    but, it sounds as if you are ready for it. I used to think I wanted to be an English teacher, but I'm glad it never happened, because the way you are feeling about your little ones now is basically how I've always been. I'm not that good at handling them.

    It's weird that you have less patience now, because since I've been sick with FM, I seem to actually have more patience for things. I really think I have the Ativan (anxiety medicine) to thank for that. I have always been an extremely nervous person, and I actually have bad nervous tics. Since the Ativan, I seem to look at the world differently, and I'm able to cope a lot better. I actually like this person better than the old one.

    Good luck with your retirement.

    Kathy
  4. ejpike

    ejpike New Member

    Pearl,

    I know exactly what you mean. What grade do you teach? I will have been teaching 2nd and 3rd grades for 30 years at the end of this school year and am also retiring. For the last several years, with the more challenging students, I have had less and less patience and I do have a particularly squirrely bunch of 2nd graders this year! On top of it all, we are given more and more paperwork to do each year and that is what has totally burned me out.

    I have just within the past month been diagnosed with FMS (although I now know that I've probably had it all my life) and this has been a particularly stressful year due to family concerns--my husband and I had a lot of responsibility for two grandchildren, 5 and 2, while our recently divorced daughter grappled with a very difficult divorce and move back to our town and working 12-hour shifts at the hospital. Thank goodness she has just taken a new job with wonderful hours--she is now our school nurse :)!

    Well, got to get up and move--my hip and back are killing me and I have a bunch of things to finish before my class returns from music.

    Judy Pike
    Bisbee, AZ
  5. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I sympathize with your plight! I saw from your bio you are in the lovely Golden State. We moved OUT of there last year to find a school system that treated both the children and teachers better, & less like cattle. I believe in public education, but 40 kids in my daughter's math class (7th grade) was too much------for both teacher and students. In Kansas, my daughter's new school district averages 19.4 in a class, all the way through high school. She has a couple of classes with less than 10 kids! And this is a large metropolitan school district, not some country one-room deal. They just have a different view of education.

    I don't know where you are in CA, and perhaps you are in a private school with a better ratio, but where we moved from, there was very little support for teachers or families. Can you imagine how it might be to have a smaller workload, less kids? I just think when you are in a crowded classroom, a teacher WITHOUT FM or CFS would have a difficult time.....for someone WITH this DD, it's magnified all the more.

    I hope you survive the next 3 months. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I'm glad you have plans to retire, you must be looking so forward to it. In the meantime, try to take each day as it comes, and remember it's time-limited. Thank goodness CA had the benefit of all your years of dedication to the job & the kids.

    Good luck!
    Pam
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    One reason is my sensory overload, but the other is the absolutely horrible lack of manners and acceptable behavior of many of today's children. I'm not talking here about normal childhood rambunctiousness; I'm talking about wild obnoxious brats, totally out of control of their parents. I see it in the stores and restaurants.

    The pendulem has swung waaaaaay too far in the direction of parents letting the children do whatever pleases them. I think many of these parents are passive/agressives who use their children to get the negative attention of the world which they want.

    For all the parents out there who are trying to instill decency and manners in their children, thank you. It can't be easy today with both parents working and all the activities, homework, world insecurities, etc. competing for children's time, energy, and emotions. Thank you also to the teachers who have to contend with children whose parents are so immature that they cannot be effective parents and send the results off for the teachers to try to work with. Bless you.

    Love, Mikie
  7. pearls

    pearls New Member

    First of all, I want to wish you, EJ, a happy retirement. And thank you all of your kind thoughts and encouragement. Yes, I teach in California, where pink slips are going out in droves because the economy went down the tubes recently due to the energy debacle here. I won't go into why that happened. I have my opinion, but I wouldn't sound much like a lady were I to go there.

    Elementary education has become impossible here, and it can only get worse for the short term. I used to encourage people to teach, since I find teaching and watching people learn immensly rewarding. But no longer. I would never encourage anyone to go into teaching these days - at least in California.

    To address several comments and questions: 1)my students are fourth graders. 2) Usually patience is not what's required for teaching. You learn skills, and these skills carry you through. However, when you get burned out - for whatever reason - that's where patience comes in -or lack of it - rather.

    On the other hand, I've had no patience for some time - nor should we have any - for the bad behavior in children these days. Actually, I'm somewhat afraid to call parents when their children go astray. It is remarkable how often they treat the matter as if it were MY fault! If they only knew how much it helps the teacher when parents are supportive! If they only knew, too, how important it is for their children's future to help the teacher instead of tearing her down.

    One more thing: There is a myth out there that the first quality for teaching is to "love" children. I never did feel that way, though I did very much care for my students, their educations, and their futures. I never allowed myself to become so attached that I couldn't easily go on to the next group of students. What I loved was teaching and learning! I think THAT is the most important quality for a good teacher. I could love them to death and still only give them "candy" instead of an education. I loved learning and I loved teaching. But it is definitely time to retire.
  8. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    school bus driver "Miss Judy". Oh, how I can relate to your post. I am with 60 little people on a cramped bus for 20 min per day. Mind, you I transport about 300 kids per day. But, 20 min max time on the bus for each group. I cannot imagine being with them all day! I love my kids as I know you do too but "sensory overload" is what we are feeling!
    The petty bickering and the lack of respect for one another and authority makes me sad! The jr. high kids are out-of-control! I feel your pain and I understand what you are going through working with children. Pearl, what I have noticed REALLY helps me is to take a valium just before I get in the bus.
    he,he,he...NO, JUST KIDDING!!!! :) I take a vitamin B-12 sublingual dot. This really helps calm my nerves and helps to stay focused. Yesterday I caught myself humming while driving down the road with 58 screaming youngsters behind me! Yep, I like the dots!! I have also cut my hours to just doing the afternoon shift because of the lack of sleep. Best of luck to you Pearl. Next time you see a bus driver say a prayer for her it may be me!
    Be blessed,
    Judy
    "how is my spelling?"
    God Bless our Teachers!!!
    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2003]
  9. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    What an HONEST post about the behavior of these undisiplined children today.
    I see MIkie has about the same attitude as I do in stores and restaurants, but you know, its the parents that are at fault. If the children were taught disipline at home, how to behave in public places, teachers such as yourself would be able to do what you so love, TEACH.

    I never had the attitude that my childrens teachers should teach them how to behave, that was my responsibility.

    I am no lover of children in general, I believe children should be well mannered and taught to respect their elders at all times. Mine were taught that from the first time one of them as babies pulled my hair, I pulled theirs, they learned quick that was not the thing to do.

    I had a child care center for 10 years, so I have some idea what you ladies are talking about, but I did have more control and less interference than you do. I could control the children after a short period, but the parents I could have took a belt too!

    The law is very foolish with the big thing that children should not be spanked, I dished out disipline as it was needed and to the degree it was necessary.

    My children are adults now, and they would still think twice about challenging me, respect lasts a lifetime.

    This country is in a sad state with the schools and the lack of disipline with the children, and the homes they come from with little or no disipline either. I don't know how any of them learn anything with all the chaotic behavior they show to anyone, and no respect at all.

    I don't know how any of you lasted so long in the school system today. God bless you for your determination and fortitude.

    Shalom, Shirl
  10. kaths

    kaths New Member

    My daughter Holly plays soccer for Cochise College in Douglas. We stayed in a wonderful B&B in Bisbee last year. I can't find the name. I love downtown Old Bisbee. It's a great place to wander through.

    Pearl,
    I know what you mean about erratic little people. While in San Francisco last week, my oldest daughter had us come meet the 2- and 3-year-olds in her preschool class. They were adorable but very tiring to me.

    Kathy
    [This Message was Edited on 03/06/2003]