A burning, tingling, right behind the eye
Just when I become aware that I
Have made another person cry.
I didn’t mean to hurt no one,
But that is sometimes just the way
Our undulating lands will somehow start to lay.
I got a message from my mentor last night to say that there had been a complaint made by a parent about the way I was teaching, that I was stressing out her daughter. I had given them 40 minutes to write 6 paragraphs so I was a bit pissed off as I signed off at the end of the day.
Anyway, I stewed overnight, thinking ‘how dare this woman complain? has she got nothing better to do with her time?’
My mentor came back to me me today and said that he spoke with the parent at length and she thought that I was putting too much pressure on them and threatening them with sanctions when we were moving too fast.
I was furious for about ten minutes and then I sat down and really thought about what she was saying. And I came to this conclusion:
We are all a little bit in the dark at the moment. Those conscientious kids that are worrying and handing everything in are sitting alone in their rooms wondering why this teacher is going mental at them. Are they doing enough? Is it them that I’m directing my anger at?
Meanwhile, as a teacher, I’m seeing the same people not even bothering a little bit. I’m talking to a screen so I can’t give eye contact to the people I’m talking to. We are all just sitting behind our screens wondering who is angry at who… and that is really difficult to deal with.
The point is, that I now feel really upset that I’ve upset others. We all need to take a look at what we are saying to each other because this is uncharted territory that we are sailing in.
I’m going to have a conversation with the whole class, to let them know that those who are handing work in are doing flipping amazing, and that I’d be devastated to think that they are beating themselves up in such difficult circumstances.
So, be nice today. It’s even harder to know what people are feeling through a computer and I’ve realised that I’ve misread a situation this week so I can confirm that it is incredibly easy to do!