This week didn't go so well, either for me or the kids. They were noisy, disrespectful, mean to each other, they cried when they didn't get their way, they broke the soap dispenser and jammed the pencil sharpener (again, and they're lucky they also fixed it this time), smeared feces on the bathroom walls, threw toilet paper all over the bathroom floor a few days later, did it again the very next day, freaked out at a spider (which I had to kill, because it was one of the ickygrosshugeblack ones with a fat body that I refused to get close enough to catch and dispose of humanely outside), spilled milk and yogurt on the classroom floor, were lectured for over an hour in the course of the week, and were yelled at and cajoled and threatened with loss of recess time every 10-20 minutes.
I was told I couldn't go to McKeever to escape this den of chaos because I "need improvement" in my teaching* and apparently despite 3 years of experience with kids outdoors, it'll be "harder" there than here and I'll most certainly fail student teaching if I go. I got a C on my Midterm Evaluation, which means almost definitely that an A is not achievable by final grading time and even if it was my average would be a B. So much for graduating with honors, because Student Teaching is worth 12 credits (as much as a full semester of "regular" classes). I'm epically far behind with my work, which naturally only makes me want to start in on the pile less and less. And we're getting a new student on Monday. 22 children is too many. 23 will be 5 times worse.
So I ended Friday afternoon with a combined sinus/tension headache after my coop had just spent 4 days complaining about how badly HER neck hurt (of course the student teacher isn't supposed to complain), and my lower back had started hurting rather suddenly and oddly. I didn't think anything of it, knowing I carry my backpack with one strap and that sometimes causes dull back pain (and yes, I should quit doing it, but putting both straps on makes me feel like an overdressed 3rd grader, so I try not to wear it like that around grown adults). Friday night it got worse. I tossed and turned and couldn't sleep, woke up at the amazingly early hour of 8am Saturday morning, tossed and turned some more and finally cried because it HURT and I couldn't figure out how or why or even exactly where. Heat pads work except that we don't ahve any proper heating pads and towels wrapped around dry white rice are only acceptable for so long before you get sick of spilling rice everywhere when you move (plastic baggies with rice in them melt because it gets too warm in the microwave). Ibuprofen also helps, but I have to be careful not to take it too often. Simple movement like filling the washing machine and cleaning the litter box made it hurt again. And it still hurts as of tonight, Sunday night, and I've lost an hour on top of everything else because of the damn clock change, so I'm sitting here looking at my computer clock (which, being Win2k, isn't set to change its time for another few weeks) saying 8:15, knowing it's actually 9:15 and feeling like I've been hit by a bus.
I do not want to go to school tomorrow. I'm not really prepared because I've spent all weekend either wishing the pain would go away or celebrating that it had gone away for a few hours and not doing any work in an attempt to "relax" and make it go away for good. I will probably go anyway, and end up drugging myself in the hallway between classes so that the kids don't see me popping Ibuprofen every 3 hours. If I had insurance, I'd be in the hospital, but the pain hasn't totally incapacitated me yet, and I'd hate to go in only to be told it's from stress, handed a prescription for muscle relaxant and charged $6k for the privilege of meeting with a doctor. The way I see it, if it gets worse, then I'll know there's something else wrong without having to ask a doctor, and THEN I can go in. If it goes away, I saved money... even if it did mean dealing with the pain.
*(I'm not progressing at the rate they think I should, I'm not 'creative' enough in my lesson planning (15/16ths of which has been handed to me straight out of a curriculum that doesn't really allow creativity), and I apparently don't do enough to differentiate instruction to fit the needs of our 5 kids who still can't even read at a beginning 2nd grade level along with the 1 confirmed and 2 suspected gifted kids all while following what the book says I HAVE to teach *headdesk*)