They have better things to do besides follow my directions or complete
multi-step tasks. They are very busy discussing what their Elf on the Shelf did last night and talking about what Santa is going to bring them. They have family parties to go to and holiday movies to watch instead of reading at home and completing their weekly word study activities. They do not understand the urgency in my voice when I ask them to please focus on finishing their parent gift instead of poking their neighbor with a Sharpie marker.
Even though they have been told numerous times that teachers have a direct contact with the North Pole, they still insist that pushing in line and telling someone that the gingerbread man they created looks like a "doofus" shouldn't be cause for removal from the "Nice List."
Twenty-two children who have turned off their "listening ears" vs. one teacher who is just trying to remain sane until this Tuesday at 3:35 p.m. is NOT a fair match-up. I am outnumbered and should really be equipped with a white flag of surrender. The full moon shining by night last week--and the buckets of snow on the ground--has just accelerated their lack of cooperation. Add grading and end-of-the-quarter assessments on top of the hullabaloo, and you've got us all riding the "hot mess express!"
The ONLY time my students have been quiet this week is when I read favorite holiday picture books aloud. Believe me, we are gathering at "story corner" at least three times every day. It is my saving grace. It is the calm in our storm. It keeps the comfort and the joy in our day. It brings peace and goodwill.
I owe author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, Patricia Polacco, Jan Brett, and many others a huge debt of gratitude for creating magical stories that are still able to mesmerize children suffering from the pre-Christmas frenzy. The rest of the time I feel like I am just keeping the lid on a pan full of popcorn, in hopes that it won't explode all over the room!
Trying to remain cheerful in the face of the above adversity has been exhausting, but I will keep calm, teach on, and try not to be too Grinch-like!
Only two more days!