Sunday, February 3, 2013

155 Screams

I'm thinking about making a sign for my desk that reads: "____ Days without Losing My Cool!"  I am pretty proud that I would have been able to flip the number over to 13 as of yesterday afternoon.  Even when Student informed me 16 times (I counted) in less than a minute that it was in fact February 1st.  Even when a urine saturated pull-up was wiped on my desk chair.  Even when Student spilled milk on my pretty black boots.  Even when Student vomitted all over his coat, snowpants and scarf (which I then had to remove).

I have become kind of numb to those little annoyances, in fact, I often just think, "this will make a funny story to tell my mom."

The title of my blog will one day be the title of my memoir.  I had a student, a little boy, who came to my room in first grade and didn't want to be there.  He was a screamer.  An ear piercing, blood curdling, shiver-inspiring screamer.  Not just every once in awhile when things weren't going his way, but all day long.  I asked for help, then I begged and pleaded for help, then I turned to drinking.  After work, don't worry.  Then I went back to asking for help.  Apparently what I needed to do was establish a baseline. So I was given a chart and a hand held counter that ticked numbers away with the click of a button.

At this time we ate lunch at 10:45 in the morning.  The start of the day is around 8.  Between those times, I clicked away 155 times.

Although this was many years ago now, I still remember sitting at my desk at lunchtime filling out the chart with the baseline data.  I remember thinking, "I thought he was screaming a lot."

I feel like in the 7 years I have been doing this job, I have learned a lot of things, but mostly I've learned to not sweat the small stuff.  Eventually the screamer and I came to an agreement of sorts, he came to school, I taught him, and we all survived.

This isn't a post to talk about how patient I am, it's more to remind myself that despite my 13 days of relative calm, I have been struggling this year to enjoy my job.  The small joys; like following youtube dance videos with Student, building block towers, knocking them down and listening to them laugh, and watching Student sound out a word all by himself and observing his grin of pride.

So even though there have been many times when I've been the one to scream in frustration (at least in my head) it's my job and most days I really do like it.  And that's worth remembering.

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