so, it’s raining outside. it’s lovely.  i have takeout chinese food sizzling on the pan in the kitchen… it was leftovers. it was supposed to be my lunch.

lunch. I spent that time talking with my principal who wanted me to do a conflict resolution conversation with a student, with whom, I was just fed up.

fed up. i’m fed up with this sad excuse of a “social-emotional/wellness/all-in” outside program that we use to intervene with our kids. they work set hours, while we work into the night. they make huge promises and deliver very little.  i don’t understand how in writing, they could email out a plan, and the very next day, not follow through.  (it’s in writing with stakeholders cc’d!).  they give students voice while taking away ours. it’s disempowering.

and disempowered is how i felt after 3 days of constant confrontation.  and with my principal, I felt defensive. and uncooperative. and discouraged. and unpleasant.  and i said a silent prayer of repentance to glorify my God and then returned to the conversation that was taking place as my lunch minutes ticked away.

A way my principal has supported me is through her patience and pushing back at my negativity.  In our conversation, I realize that I’ve been burned in these “conflict resolutions” not by her but by this outside program.  She sat there giving me ideas for how to approach the impending restorative conversation.  I took out a post-it and wrote as she dictated, because at the moment, I had no headspace to think of how I could help this child.

“What are classroom expectations? What part of this is difficult? How can I redirect you? How can I help you?”  Tears stream down my face as I begin to write these down verbatim. Humbled. doubtful. broken. Kids are slated to come back in 3 minutes and I keep breathing in and out but I can’t seem to stop sobbing.  I thankfully get to take a break, but there is still no privacy.  I stand in the playground, my back to the school, and tried to get the red out of my eyes.  Four minutes. and I’m back in the classroom.

In my classroom, there’s a slight respite.  Yesterday, a student asked me if I was angry, and I apologized, and exhaled, and smiled – it’s not their fault.  Today another asked me how I was doing.  I said that I didn’t want to be here, but it’s not because of them.

They are sweet. I saw a bunch of them after school scrambling for cover or running into the rain. it was lovely. i think my chinese food is done reheating. i’m going to go eat my lunch.


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