All Intents and Purposes

Today was just…one of those days.

We all have them. There is nothing special about anyone else’s hard wacky day because we all have them.

What’s unique is how we deal.

For all intents and purposes…this was a wonderful day. I got to be around kids. I love kids. I got to laugh at ridiculous things kids do and say. I love things kids do and say. I got to eat lunch. I love lunch.

Yes, of course, there were ridiculous parts, too.

There was a student standing on their chair, sitting on the back of said chair…about to tip it over and cause significant bodily harm and property damage. I had to use my mean “STOP. SIT.” loud teacher voice and explain after.

There was me trying to test 28 children on reading on a testing platform that’s new to them in 3rd grade. They’re still clunky with the Chromebooks. There are few children that have laptop skills at this age. They keep trying to tap the screen with their fingers. They put a space for the login or mistype one part of a password and it bumps them out again. I’ve started saying “click what’s clickable.” So many raised hands, frustration, loud talking, general dis-ease. My pits and hairline sweating profusely. And my 19th reminder to chair stander to put their mask back on their actual face, tell table 5 “no we don’t wash our tables with hand sanitizer,” while table 2 has a literal screw or three loose and is it is squeaking loudly and constantly because the children there are stimming out using their bouncy bands to tap their legs. All of this while we are attempting to log on to said test.

Yeah that was a lot.

But life is a always a lot. The only thing I can do is breathe. I gave myself a time out. I stood in the hall later in the morning, with my microphone on. Calmly, quietly, I said into the mic:

“I am dysregulated. I am in the red zone. I need a break. So I am standing out here to breathe. While I am breathing I can still hear you and what you are doing.”

Ms. F, 11:42 AM, 9/9/21

We learn from what adults model. I model self care and self regulation.

It was wacky enough of a day that at the end of it I took 20 minutes to call and check in with my health care providers, and to schedule a self-care mental health day off in a few weeks.

I know what stress can do to a body. I’ve seen some pretty dark experiences with how my body will shut down when it’s neglected.

Not going there again.

So. I take breaks. I laugh at the silly things students do, and I try to just have fun with them while we learn as much and as often as possible. Even if they’re standing on chairs or hand painting a table with hand sanitizer.

None of us deserve anything less. Our job here on the planet is to just be the best human we can be, learning alongside other humans. We also deserve kindness and respect. No matter what wackadoodle thing a child chooses to do, my job is to show kindness, patience, and respect.

When it’s the 19th time…I may just go stand in the hall for 90 seconds.


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