Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 287- Tough Cookie

Everyone in my building at work comes with a reputation.  In my first few weeks, I heard all about everyone's business.  It was if everyone was all excited to have someone new with no opinions as a sounding board, and they'd just talk and talk about everything and everyone in an attempt to fill me in and keep me informed.  I listened.  Then, I took everything they said with a grain of salt.

I am most certainly not high and mighty, and I say my fair share of things that I shouldn't.  However, I have made a conscious effort to stay out of the gossip and to save up all my gossip and things I have to say about other people for Tom.  He's probably bored by these stories most of the time (I don't blame him), and he is occasionally amused.  More importantly, his eyes glaze over, and I know that none of these things that I say will ever find their way out of this house and into the world where they could hurt or upset other people.  I must say I'm proud of the way I have handled myself thus far.  I have to remind myself all the time to bite my tongue and that this type of gossip has no place in my work vocabulary.  I hope that eventually this will become natural.

Anyway... that is all just an extremely long-winded way of saying that although every person that I work with cannot be my favorite, I do at least have a cordial relationship with everyone I have met in the building... including Tough Cookie.  TC is one of those people I was "warned" about.  TC is a tough cookie and is not someone who is easily impressed.  TC makes people nervous. 

Now, at long last, let me get to the point.  I was feeling a little down today because a bunch of my students really didn't do well on a test I gave.  I am usually really confident in my abilities as a teacher, but this caused me to falter a bit.  I wondered if they didn't do well because I wasn't teaching well... or maybe I wasn't motivating them to try or be interested or learn... or maybe the test we wrote was flawed.... sigh...  I eventually convinced myself that I can't take this all on my shoulders.  Some of those things may be true, but I know that there is accountability on the part of my students too.  For every student that bombed, there was another who was successful.  I am back to being a Positive Polly again.  I will put my head down and push forward, and I have all kinds of ideas about what to try next and how I can do things better.  But... I won't deny the fact that I had a few rough hours of self doubt where I wondered if I was not giving my kids what they needed and if I would need to rethink what I was doing in my room entirely.  

In the midst of this came an e-mail from Tough Cookie. 

By the way, it is a pleasure working with you.  You are smart and poised and really "get" these kiddos :).

This could not have come at a better time. Gossip be darned, TC, you're alright with me!

Thank you, Tough Cookie, you made my day.



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