day 2 of national novel writing month ended with a big fat zero on my word count. the worst part, though, comes in my confession that i can’t form a basis for a story. yeah, i know….WHAT??? all i do is write, why can’t i settle on a topic? unfortunately, i don’t know. part of my frustration has been that there’s no rhythm for me this year in class. once i give my students their assignment to write, i start, too, but i’m policing the room rather than forming coherent sentences. so as i think about my story for this month, i decided to blow off some steam.

a few difficulties with being a teacher

1. students who aren’t mentally prepared for school–i teach at a high-poverty high school and most of the kids i see this year have more or less been passed up to the next level so their teacher won’t have to deal with them another year. it hurts me to see such huge gaps in their learning and in their understanding that without an education, there is no way out of poverty for them.

2. grading — I HATE PROGRESS REPORTS, REPORT CARDS, AND TESTS!!  can i say that any stronger? i really wish i could figure out how to “give grades” without giving them–ha!  i did have my students give presentations last week and grade each other, so that helped some.

3. principals who give homework & pop quizzes for a required inservice because he knows that’s the only way he can get people to participate. some days i wish i had more respect for this person. then he does something stupid like this, and all i want to do is poke his eyes out!! haha….

4. teachers who constantly complain. every day. about everything. they make my head hurt. there’s not anything we can do to change people, so why spend so much energy finding the words to complain? at some point, the complaining has to turn into an action plan. i mean, if i’m dealing with students who won’t write for 20-30 minutes without talking or interrupting others, and all i do is go to the teacher’s lounge and tattle, nothing gets done. but if i’m writing my frustrations and tracking them, then i have some evidence and can design an action plan to address the students’ difficulties.

5. uncertain technology–some days my computer works and some days not. some days i can use the copier and some days my students are forced to complain about my poor handwriting because they’re copying my notes!! guess what today was!

6. i don’t appreciate back-talking and eye-rolling (i mean, who does??)

7. having to ask another teacher to cover my class so i can go to the restroom. seriously? this is my total pet peeve.

i think seven items are enough. most days i totally enjoy working with students, but today was a rough one. maybe it’s because i have so many ideas to try out, that i feel unorganized in my thinking. definitely some ideas for action research.

anyhoo….time to figure out my nanowrimo topic!