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I Crave Structure


Yesterday, I found myself extremely frustrated during my fourth period class.  I have a lunch break after this class, so I took some time to walk around outside and do some reflecting.

Why, I wondered, was I feeling like I was losing my mind?  What was it that had made my kiddos disregard my carefully laid-out plans?

And that’s when it hit me.

I need structure.

I also need consistency.

I’ll have neither of these next week when we are on a special schedule…one I’d learned about during my planning period, which occurred the hour before my fourth period class.  This alternate schedule will allow the seniors to take their exams early.  Unfortunately, the rest of the school has to adjust as well.

Basically, I’m going to have to completely revamp the beautiful schedule of activities I’d laid out for my own classes next week.  We are working on two big projects, and I only have four student computers in my room, so rotating students efficiently is going to be extremely challenging because of the scant amount of time left.

I don’t adjust well.

I never have.

I am a creature of habit.

So, during fourth period, I had become frustrated…because of my students’ actions as well as an inner turmoil that I had been unable to put a name to.

What I came to realize during my time of regrouping was that at this point, it’s all about surviving…going with the flow…while still holding my students to the high standards that have been in place all year.  There are so many hiccups in the routine…endless testing (End of Course exams will be hitting their fourth and final week while the seniors are taking final exams)…an in-school talent show…yearbook signing…the list goes on and on.

To add to the stress are students who have decided to stay home most days, with the misguided belief that the education process stopped as soon as FCAT was over.  When students do poke their heads in the door, it’s my job to help them get caught up so their GPAs don’t complete tank.


As of this writing, we have thirteen and a half more days of school (plus two teacher workdays).

I’m going to adopt the mindset of the Little Engine that Could…

“I think I can.  I think I can.”

One Response

  1. How well I remember the last days of school when all structure is thrown out the window. The only way to keep your sanity and some form of structure in your classroom is to plan mini lessons to use when necessary and go with the flow.

    I know you can, I know you can. . .

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