I haven’t done right by my night class this term. I’ve been there. We’ve worked. But something’s been off. We’ve had some good classes, some really wonderful conversations, but this class has never come together the way other classes have.
Is it the fight I had with Cheo early in the term that I could surely have handled so much better? Maybe, but I don’t think so. The group seemed to come together more comfortably after Cheo left the class. I felt awful about his leaving, but everyone else seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
Is it that I’m just too overwhelmed with teaching in the morning and teaching at night and trying to squeeze my full-time job in the middle and around the edges? That’s definitely a good possibility … but doesn’t ring true. I have lesson ideas spilling out of me. I can’t focus enough at my desk sometimes to move work out the door, but I know what I’ll be teaching that night. I’m really tired, but I’m not tired in the classroom. Anthony actually commented on that the other day, asked how I manage to work so many hours and not be falling down asleep all the time. It’s because the classroom gives me energy. I might be exhausted before I walk in the door, I might fall asleep the moment I get on the bus to head home, but for the three hours that I’m in the room I am wide awake.
Sadly, I think it’s the gender imbalance. Most nights, I’m the only girl in the room … and we’ve already established that I don’t actually count as a girl (although Benny did make the mistake of saying I was pretty last week and then had to back pedal and say he didn’t mean it!). The gender imbalance … oh, and the fact that the boys don’t seem to have enough in common to make them a real group. And at this point, it’s feeling a bit late in the game to do anything about it. I know that some groups just don’t come together … but not my groups, if I may be so obnoxious. I mean, we always seem to gel one way or another, and it’s driving me a little crazy that that isn’t happening here.
I have no answers. I like the boys (though I have so much to learn about how to work with a boyful room), but I don’t feel that they’ve been well-served by me this term. We have a few weeks to go, and I’ll keep trying, and anything’s possible I suppose … I just think they’ll all be relieved when term ends and they can move on to work with J___