Written Friday Morning:
Yesterday was probably not a good day for the Little People. Nor was it a good day for their teacher. Actually, I should say that first it was not a good day for the teacher, and as a result it probably wasn't a good day for the Little People, either. In fact, I definitely don't think yesterday will be voted "Best Day of the Year" - by anyone.
It all started at 3:00 AM the night before when I woke up to find a sick son in our room, saying that he felt horrible, and his head really, really hurt. He and I spent the next hour applying a wet rag to his head and dozing on and off in his room (he in the bed, I on the floor). Finally he threw up about four, and we both were able to go back to bed.
The resulting tiredness paired with a few other day-to-day issues at home brought me to work feeling grumpy and weary - and oppressed. Right before I got to school I got a text from the morning teacher saying that we had been instructed to stop using sidewalk chalk because - well, someone wasn't happy about it. Then we had another day in our continuing "lunch table" saga between our class and another "fringe group" at school (whom I will not name, but I will just say it's not a regular classroom). In short, the person in charge of this group has been unhappy about the current seating arrangement in the cafeteria and has been wanting our class to move to make this better. I saw no reason to move, but was trying not to seem unwilling to cooperate, nor was I (yet) wanting to go over her or the cafeteria manager's head to get it resolved satisfactorily (meaning: resolved in the way that I thought it should be). So when we walked in the cafeteria and saw that the leader of this group had just come to the cafeteria extra early so that she could get the table that she wanted, I was not very happy.
So, the Little People might have suffered just a little. Well, not suffered, but I certainly wasn't my regular self. I was grumpy. Instead of asking Little Suzy three times to please not yell in a singing voice in the cafeteria, I moved her immediately to a different seat - without any explanation at all. When my second-year student was spraying other people with water, I just sternly said, "Now, Little Johnny, you know better than that. Cut it out." I even used my meanest/on-the-edge-of-yelling voice when two little girls wouldn't let go of my id badge when I saw that someone across the cafeteria table was putting a large juice cap in her mouth that she could surely choke on, especially since - how shall I put this - common sense does not always appear to be in this student's Top 10 list. "Let GO", I hissed to the little girls when they would not and I needed to move quickly to stop the potential juice cap consumer. Yep, they kept their cautious, puzzled eyes on me for a good long time after that one.
I told students, "Nope. You're not sitting up on the carpet, you're not getting a sticker. No sticker for you." I told Little Wood Chip thrower (in front of all the other kids), "If you yell 'no' at me one more time, I am going to get up and call your mother and tell her you have to go home RIGHT NOW."
Yes, in hindsight I feel bad about all of this. Especially about Little Sally, who we've learned is used to communicating mainly in a very bossy yelling voice. Usually we can say, "Sally, please use a talking voice to talk about what you want instead of yelling." But yesterday when I heard her shriek once again, I was just tired of it. "Sally." I said sternly. "You are going to have to learn to not yell out whenever you want something. It is not okay to yell like that. Now, what's wrong?" She looked at me with big tears in her eyes. "Somebody stepped on my toe," she said sadly.
Oh dear. I repent. Someone needed to make Mrs. Locke take a break away from the group and take some long, deep breaths.
But some days are like that. And even though the kids most likely go home and tell their parents, "This day was SO FUN," I know that it's okay. Today is a new day.
Plus, my supervisor told me that we are not allowed to sit or otherwise "mingle" with non-preschool children and therefore can not legally follow the seating plan that the Fringe Group person was trying to implement.
So, today is looking better already.