It's been a long week. Not only did we suddenly get a new first grade group for an hour and a half in the morning (four days a week), but the third grade math group was abruptly changed from two days a week to four. Sigh.
The third graders are so much fun individually, but absolutely toxic in a group. One of the boys has major anxiety issues that they are still trying to find an accurate diagnosis for. The school psychologist asked me to take notes on his symptoms. Very low pressure, I tell you.
The other boy is the class clown, but also a bit of an antagonist. He has a really awful past, but he's working hard to overcome it. He is an absolute charmer when I work with him and just one other person, but add any more, and bad things happen. The last blow-out took two weeks to recover from, as a group.
The two girls in the group are intriguing, to say the least. One is a born actress. She's very dramatic, and always trying out different accents and characters. She's a lot of fun, but it is so hard to get her to focus. The other girl is a perfectionist---don't you dare tell her she's wrong. She will absolutely melt down. She has come a long way, though, this year. Her meltdowns are a lot less frequent, and you can often see her visibly straightening herself up and refusing to give in to her emotions.
I really enjoy working with them---we've just got to work on the dynamics. I'm trying to line up a tutor for the boy with anxiety issues. He does really well when he receives one-on-one attention. Also, there is much less drama in the group with only three people to feed it, instead of four.
I just want to do what is best for these kids. Sometimes I worry that everything I try isn't enough, that I'm failing them somehow. I've just got to keep trying, and enjoy the journey.