"you're not a real teacher until you've cried anyway"
when i first arrived at the school i used to see this innocent looking blonde boy standing outside in the corridor. i couldn't believe he had been sent out of so many classes as he was always polite and looked sheepish when people walked past.
anyway, i ended up teaching this boy in my year 7 class and he was very quiet and always got on with his work. then one day as i was walking past his desk, i noticed that the task he was so engrossed in had less to do with learning spellings and more to do with drawing cartoons. so:
me: X, put that away and get on with your work.
X: leave me alone, everyone is always picking on me, i hate you. your work is boring anyway, i'm going to tell my dad over you.
i kept him behind at break, and he decided to mumble on (mostly about setting his dad on me for some obscure reason)so that his 15 minute detention soon turned into a 45 minute detention. he finally mananged to remain quite for 2 minutes, and then i had to let him go to get to my next class.
i walked into the class (year 9) and burst into tears. the classroom teacher quickly escorted me in to the staffroom, amid cries of "we didn't do anything to her" from the year 9s, where i wailed lke a baby for about half an hour. that's when my mentor told me "you're not a real teacher until you've cried anyway", which made me feel heaps better. i really do think having a good mentor can make or break your pgce year. anyway, she also told me that X can be very aggressive when it comes to his cartoons (it's what he wants to do when he grows up) and also, as i've learnt since, boys have to put up a macho image in front of their friends when they are being told off in public.
i don't know why X got to me so much, i think i just needed to cry to get it out of my system. i haven't let a student get to me that much since (well at least i haven't cried since!)
i think you just have to remember that in the classroom, it is not a "real" situation and the students rarely hate you, just what you represent. plus, most (but not all) of the time students only misbehave when they're bored or the work is too difficult for them. that's why supply teachers have such a rough time, the students feel that the member of staff doesn't care about them and won't be with them long term so don't bother making the effort.
one good thing to come out of it was that the year 9s were really nice to me for the rest of my placement:)
so, when was the last time you cried...