That Class

Standard
THAT CLASS
Do you have a class, 
you know the one,
THAT CLASS?
They come in all
levels and sizes,
and they don’t happen
every year.
Still, 
THAT CLASS
is the one full
of conflicting personalities,
people struggling
to get along,
a dysfunctional family,
negative,
disruptive,
unaffirming,
angry, 
often wounded.
In THAT CLASS
only a few work
together, seeking
peace.

At some point,
you try to reign
them in,
help them get it
together,
Your hands up in the air,
another strategy fails
for THAT CLASS
to become a community.

How do you help
THAT CLASS
become a community,
be nice to one another,
work together 
in peace?

Because
THAT CLASS 
has me at my wit’s end.





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10 thoughts on “That Class

  1. I had that class yesterday!!! And last week! Please share any advice that you get!I really love your "a dysfunctional family" line! That was my class yesterday during group review time. But I have to admit, they were engaged.

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  2. I am so so so sorry. I wish I could help with words of wisdom, strategies that worked, ways to cope. I had THAT CLASS last year – all year long. I went home in tears most days. I gave into frustration and took it out on THAT CLASS. My teaching went in the toilet. I seriously considered what other job I could take and not lose my pension. I was miserable. The best I could do was to go home, surround myself with the people I loved most, and rested/relaxed as much as possible on weekend. I am there in spirit with you! If you need a place to vent – I'll give you my email or phone. Just let me know.

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  3. I have had THAT CLASS a few times. I have found that the way to look at it is not day to day, but look at the overall progress. Focus on the progress you are making. Measure your days in the little accomplishments. Take time to breathe and forgive yourself for your frustration. Ask for help–enlist your colleagues and/or any support teachers you have. You can do it. I could hear your voice pleading for help throughout your words. And, trust me, every teacher who is honest and open has had THAT CLASS.

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  4. I will admit, as a young teacher, I clicked on your post in hopes of finding good advice in the comments! hehe. But I love the way your poem described "THAT CLASS" in so many different ways — by their behavior, by your behavior, and finally by what you wanted for them. Neat! (Sorry, I don't really have any advice, although I like Kelli's!) I guess, try to give them a fresh start in your mind and look for ways to connect positively with some of them.

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  5. It's the few good ones of That Class that I feel sorry for. One teacher at the end of the year was facing a That Class coming up, she spent her summer praying some of the problems would move. They did, and she had a great year. :-]

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  6. I have THaT CLaSS this year…oh some days I just could cry!!! My best advice, focus on the behavior first, management, if you get that down, then you can go forward. I've been teaching for 23yrs, this group has really had me rethinking lots of things all year! Hang in there, you are NOT alone!

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  7. Thinking of you… and hoping that you will be good to yourself, find some peace. I think that deep down you are touching these kids, they have made progress, and you are making a big difference, but it so hard to see when you have THAT CLASS. I just shared this with another teacher, we both love your writing and your will, but feel for you and all the other teachers who are experiencing what you are this year. Here's to next year!

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  8. I love this! I am currently dealing with THAT CLASS too. I'm hoping spring break will provide some relief. I know that some days it helps to just take a break from the teaching and work on building relationships, because no learning can happen if everyone is distracted by all the other "stuff." Good luck!

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  9. I have had THAT CLASS too. It makes everything harder, but it does come to an end. All you can do is your best! I finally came to the realization that I couldn't make them get along or like each other, but I could teach my heart out and spend my time trying my best to work with them. If I could go to bed at night knowing that I gave them everything I had that day, then I had done all I could do, and that would have to be enough.

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