Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Little Understanding

I definitely wasn't feeling 100%.  Twinges of body aches, stuffy nose, stomach slightly off. And.... exhausted.  Bone tired.  I entered my room and nearly sunk to my knees - COLD.  The boiler was out AGAIN.  "Noooooooo" I moaned out loud.  This would not help matters.  I hurried to turn on the small space heater under my desk, adjusting it so it was as close to my feet as I could safely put it.  And there I sat for a bit.  Just trying to warm up, wake up.  Instead - I found myself head down on arm, eyes closed, not sure how I could make it through the next 10 minutes, let alone the day.  "Get up and move or you're doomed" I willed myself.  A quick trip downstairs to check my box and visit the office seemed to revive me.
I knew my patience would be thin today - but it wasn't fair to take my malaise and frustrations out on the kids.  I must be diligent, I admonished myself.  The bell rang, they traipsed in, hanging up coats, stashing lunch bags, settling in.  We made it through about 20 minutes.  Then - I could feel the monster welling up.  Some innocent remark, or goofy behavior - one I would normally not even notice - had set me off.
"I'd better warn them"  I thought.
"So guys - I'm not at my best today.  Don't feel real well and am exhausted.  It won't take much to send me over the edge today.  I don't want that to happen so I promise to do my best to be patient, but I need you to help too.  Can you do that?"
I was met with a sea of warm smiles, understanding nods, even a few giggles.  "Naw - we don't need to see you go over the edge, Julie" a few joked. (Sadly they had seen it happen once or twice this year.  I had regretted each time - such a relief to know they didn't hold it against me.) 
They were on my side, in fact.  I felt myself relax.  The monster retreated.  I swallowed the lump in my throat that had come out of nowhere when I realized how much they cared, how compassion came so easily, how they UNDERSTOOD.
We forged through the rest of the day - me not at my best, but gratefully calling on all the patience I could muster; my students - well... champions.

I get by with a little help from my friends.   ~ The Beatles


  1. Sometimes they just get it and know that they should not push the button. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  2. I hope you are feeling better already. That's awesome that your students related to you and could take that cue. I know that monster and it is so brave and truthful to admit you have one in tow...that you might not be able to handle.
    I just think it awful how many days we put in teaching while we are sick because it is so hard to be out and get buried in work.
    Great small moment with a big win. Thanks.