If you’ve come for the happy thought on Friday, that will not be today.
I blew up last night. Lost my temper, lost my cool, and I’m not proud of it.
My youngest daughter is a beautiful child. She has a 10,000 watt smile that can light up any room she walks into. She’s won awards for showmanship because she handles her heifer well, but also because she maintains eye contact with the ring judge and just glows. She passionate about her friends and as strong willed as her mother. She is also a teenager, one who’s struggling to find where she fits in her new social environment at the high school. She pushes buttons constantly with her mother and me.
My class this year is one l like I’ve not had in a LONG time. They are a collection of dominating personalities, that if they were in groups of 15 would still be a handful. They are with me, all 30, all day long. I keep pulling into my bag of tricks and we work well, then they grow weary of that trick, so we move to the next one.
I’m about as even keeled of a personality as you are going to find. I may be a little passive aggressive, but for the most part, I don’t have huge emotional outbursts one way or another. Now, my basketball girls might argue that as I’m jumping around like a fool at practice, but I’m that steadying force in many groups. This is a blessing and a curse because while I can be that calming force, I’m not good at showing my emotions at all. That’s just the way our family is. We tiptoe around things, which is totally different than my wife’s family, who wear their emotions on their sleeve. It drives my wife crazy that I keep things bottled up and I’ve become a master at keeping things in their compartment.
Last night, the youngest was pushing buttons, and got in my face about something and I just blew up. It had been a long day at school with my group, basketball practice had not gone well, and this was the last straw. As I laid in bed that night, not sleeping again, I went over the exchange, and what I found was that I’m bringing all that “stuff’ home with me. As teachers, we bring home the paperwork, but we also carry the worries of each of our students: Am I assessing correctly? What about Johnny and his reading? How can I get Suzie to get work turned in? How do I keep these cousins from talking across the room? Is what I’m making a difference? If you are a teacher, you know the drill. We all carry these bags of work with us, and most days, I’m able to separate myself from it somewhat, but when you are grading math tests, looking at writing prompts, and this is done at night, that line gets blurred. Last night, that’s exactly what happened. Not proud of my behavior in the least, but I know I’m not alone in taking it home with me.
That angry, red faced father is not me. I will talk with my daughter after we get home from our respective ball games tonight, and we’ll see how things could have been handled differently. As I reflect on myself as a teacher, I know I have to do a better job of leaving that bag of work at school, both the paperwork AND the emotions that come with it. Not all together how that’s going to happen, but that looks like a pretty good pre-New Year’s Resolution to me! 🙂
And not to worry, I’ll be ok, just needed to get that out of my system.