Pardon me for a minute while I vent...
I feel like I suck today.
When kids in my class don't learn I take it personally. I take it as a sign that I'm not doing everything I can. I feel like I'm not doing a good job of explaining and making things clear or that I'm not making the concept simple enough. And I'm not talking about the kids that are lazy or irresponsible. I'm talking about the ones that really just don't get it. The ones that no matter how many times I explain it, there's still just something not clicking for them. The ones that try so hard to go through the motions of what I'm saying but are still making mistakes because they don't really get it. They sit there with me wearing a look of uncertainty, a look I know well by now. And I just want SO badly to help these kids to understand it. I watch them get frustrated and when they say they just aren't smart it breaks my heart. Every. single. time. I go home and it's all I can think about. I try to research ways to reach different types of learners in the hopes that I'll find the answer or some new strategy to try. I look through remediation programs and different hands on activities to try. I think and think and think about where the disconnect might be and how to make things click. I think about how great these kids are and how all I want is for them to not be frustrated anymore. And when I try and try and try and it still doesn't work for them it makes me sad and feel like I'm not doing my job. I should be helping these kids make sense of things and I can't. I'm trying and it's just not working. I don't think my job is to just stand up in front of a room and deliver a lesson to those that want to listen. My job is to make sure that my kids understand math. Every single one of them, no matter what or how long it takes. And when they don't get it I don't blame them, I blame myself. It think means I'm not doing a good enough job and it feels like I'm failing them. I know I probably shouldn't take it so personally, but I just can't help it.
So today I feel like I suck. But I have a plan for tomorrow and some more new things to try so I guess that's all I can do right now.