My kids are not making as much progress as I wanted them to make.
Our first round of running records was this past week and some of them are on track to meet or exceed their goals. Some, however, have not grown since September.
This is normal, I know. But still, there's that little perfectionist voice that eats away at me saying, "What are you doing wrong? Why are they not learning?"
It is this voice that makes me a teacher. That keeps me up at night. That makes me keep 8 kids in at lunch when they don't do their homework. (I don't care that the night before was Halloween.)
We have so much to learn - accomplish - a huge gap to close before the year is over. The sense of urgency sometimes makes me sick to my stomach. And there are days the kids feel it, too. Damien always complains that, "This class is a step up to the 9th grade." He's not used to the work.
"How come, when we meet our goal, we get a new one that's higher?" asked Malik last year? "Why don't we just get a party?"
"You do party." I replied. "When you graduate, I will throw you the biggest party ever." They laughed, and when back to work.
We are motivated. We know where we're going. Yet lately, it seems that the thing that motivates me the most is the mere passing of time. The fact that this week is the Social Studies test and Parent Teacher conferences. Next week is Thanksgiving, then after that, hard core test prep for the ELA, and Christmas just around the corner. I'm forever looking forward, but why? Because we're making progress, or because I'm tired and something inside of me just needs to make it through?