hey guys, i'm new here. i thought i'd just do a little introspective rambling in front of an audience that might be able to give me some advice. up until about a week ago, i would have told you that i was having a pretty stellar first year. i mean, i have one or two classes that tend to grate on my nerves sometimes, but i never felt completely put off by them. then all of a sudden, this week, i hit my deepest low point. you see, i am relentlessly positive, which is both my strength and my downfall as a teacher -- i tend to have a lot of faith in my students, even when they probably don't deserve it. and that's one of the reasons why a couple of my classes have gotten kind of rambunctious, because instead of putting my foot down on things, i tend to let it slide after having an "i believe you can do better next time" chat with them. well, i talked to some other teachers and they suggested that i'm too nice, and students are taking advantage of me... and that the next time students behave inappropriately in my class, i should just kick them out. the mere suggestion seemed to go against every aspect of my personality. i resisted the idea for a while, but today--i finally did it. the kids i kicked out had already had several conferences with me, parent phone calls, and even previous referrals; what they did wasn't anything major, they just kind of blew up at each other in the middle of class (a few obscenities were uttered) and i had had enough and kicked them out. but instead of feeling satisfied, like other teachers said i would, i just feel... guilty. i hate feeling like this. i went out for coffee with some friends of mine who aren't teachers and they were amazed at how dazed and dejected i look. in fact, i didn't fully realize the state i'm in until they mentioned it. maybe i need to have a good cry, but i can't. maybe i'm more tired than i am dejected. it's kind of a chicken-and-egg conundrum; either i was exhausted, so i had a bad week, or i became exhausted because i had a bad week. i think the thing that's bothering me the most right now is that whenever people see me, they pity me. one of my non-teacher friends asked me tonight, "so, do you think you'll be a teacher next year?" it was a legitimate question, but it made me kind of defensive. of course i want to be a teacher next year. there are a lot of things i love about this job. it's just kind of frustrating me that things have suddenly taken such a disconcerting turn. i want to believe that i can bounce back from a bad week.