I am wrestling with a problem. It's left me feeling sick and stressed.
I had a rough week last week with my after school students. I started the year with great intentions and plans, but as the year has gone on and I have gotten more tired and more busy, I've not brought the same level of planning and intention to the program.
That in itself tells me I need to plan more long term so that I have plans outlined and in place when things get busy or I start to wear down. A month's worth of plans isn't going to be long enough.
The students have also gotten more unruly as we have gone on. I don't know if it is because they are getting older and pursuing their own agendas (more talking - and flirting - and less working) or if it is because I haven't stayed as strict as I was in the beginning. Maybe it is a combination of both. Whatever the cause, it's time to reign things back in.
This is something I do on a volunteer basis. These are afternoons I could be working on all those library things that can't get finished during the school day. Or they could be days when I get to leave school right when the day closes. And for 4 years I've been happy to use my afternoons for this group. But lately that joy has been replaced by dread. When the students leave, I feel like I have been in a battle - that I have been policing students rather than teaching them.
This week we will be resetting the expectations and the boundaries for this program. I did a little of it with my older group last week and they worked really well. I have hope that I can say the same for the younger group after this week.