Site icon Laura Randazzo – Solutions for the Secondary Classroom

Trying to Stay Sane

Yesterday was a bad day. More accurately, yesterday was a great day that I allowed to be spoiled by the actions of one kid. This kid. This one kid. Details aren’t important; the bottom line is that his immaturity prevents him from taking responsibility for his foolishness and, instead, he tries to blame me, other kids, the entire school system for his failings. Despite his lack of interest in doing the work of self-improvement, I still want to help him. I mean, he’s only 15 years old; he doesn’t know what his future could hold.

Unfortunately, he’s a closed door right now, not interested in what I have to offer. To him, I’m just another middle-aged lady trying to tell him what to do.


I have so many awesome kids in my day, why is it that this one kid takes up so much of my headspace? I should, of course, give equal weight to the good moments in my day. Yes, this is hard, but it’s also necessary. Since 99% of my kids are awesome (okay, well…maybe 95%), it’s easy to find the positive around me. For instance, all of this also happened yesterday:

• During an unexpected fire drill, I saw one of my freshmen who transferred out of my class at the semester break due to a change in her math placement. Quickly and quietly, she said, “I miss your class, Ms. R.,” as we walked back into the building. “Aw, I miss you, too,” I replied.

• After a little grumbling/whining, my juniors were able to regroup post-fire drill and finish their SAT practice essays on time. (High-five for the block schedule!)

• One of my juniors loaned me a copy of Everything, Everything, just because he liked the book and thought I would, too.

• A different junior came by at lunch to ask if I’d be willing to have her to work as my teaching assistant next year. (Heck yeah!)

• A mom emailed me to say thanks for inspiring her sophomore to sign up for honors junior English next year.

• A freshman excitedly showed me the new FitBit he just got for his birthday. Knowing we’re both Type A, he was all a flutter to have me test out the different settings and doodads.

• An army of unknown pun-lovers visited the bulletin board outside my classroom to add a fresh tearable pun to their collections. I’ve seen several binders tucked under the arms of kids I don’t know with those colorful pun slips peeking out from their plastic covers.

• My family visited a restaurant last night that makes a great bowl of pho, Vietnamese noodle soup. Our Asian food experience in Idaho has ranged from meh to ick, but the pho shop gives me hope. Pho = Perfect Bad Day Cure

Even writing this post has helped lower my blood pressure. I’m not a daily-gratitude-journal-kind-of-gal, but I do see the value of balancing the brain space that we give to the chuckleheads. Will I continue to try to help the student who doesn’t seem to want my help? Of course. Will I be able to turn him around in our last nine weeks together? I don’t know. Do I see the value in continuing to take on this challenge? Oh, you know I do.

Let’s help each other stay sane! PLEASE leave a reply below describing one great thing that happened to you this week. I really need this, everyone.

Teach on!

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