Last year in May, I had my students right where I wanted them. I gave verbal directions one time and all 65 for them followed perfectly. Each of them greeted me as they entered their room with a smile on their face. It was May and I had been with them for nine months.

And now….I find myself back at square one which I know happens every year, but I can’t help but compare this year to last year when I know I shouldn’t. I’m currently struggling with disciplining some of my freshmen. They have very immature attitudes/behavior for fourteen year olds. I try to be as patient as possible. I really do. But certain behavior (like turning a giant fan on a table of handouts to blow them across the room while I step out for two minutes) is absolutely unacceptable. And on top of all this, they have been writing their little hearts out for the past two weeks. Essays are due Oct 11 and I’m really proud of the fact that so many of them have diligently followed the steps of the writing process. They’ve also been taking my comments on google docs to heart and actually fixing their own mistakes. I feel like that is a huge step in the right direction. So at the end of the day, I know I have to pick my battles, but can I? Do I really have to make a choice? Can’t I have the best of both worlds and show them how important and wonderful it is to be responsible and mature as well as to practice and improve their writing? May seems like it is really far off from October, but I’m willing to work really hard and to practice that patience if it means the outcome will be better in the end.

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