Do you ever have those weeks??? I'm know everyone does, but this has been a tough week for me. I wouldn't say that I'm normally an overly confident person, so when I have a rough time, it feels even worse. I was reading Farley's post about how much is on our plates as teachers and thinking that I am purely exhausted. Actually, changing grades has been tough all the way around. I am feeling overwhelmed and like the change is not enerigizing me as much as I had hoped.
I'm not sure I am making a difference and feel like I spend so much of my time with social skills and behaviors - just as much as I did in first grade. On top of it, I am feeling like there is no time to figure things out. You're just supposed to hit the ground running and know how to manage all the routines and curriculum perfectly - especially in the first testing grade. It has also been a challenge to see my firsties as second graders and see that there are things I wasn't able to address last year - feeling like I didn't do all that I could even though I nearly ran myself into the ground emotionally and to some extent, physically. An experience which prompted me to make a move in grades and think about a career beyond the classroom. I have never been in a situation where I have seen the students after they have left my class and it makes me feel a bit defeated and unsuccessful.
I am so tired and my life outside of school barely exists. I don't even want to think of all the things that need to be done at my house, how many meals I do not cook anymore, and in general how little I see my family. I stressed and snappy. I'm short with my poor husband. I am enjoying my first doc course, but am just not giving it anywhere near my all. I just plain feel like nothing is going well. In general, the excitement is there, but the reality is not what I had hoped.
Is it too much to expect to be able to go home and get a load of laundry done or a sink full of dishes done, or heavens, even read a chapter in a book? I don't even have kids - and I feel like that's not even on the radar with teaching. I know everyone says you adjust and your teaching changes, but I want to have a life without kids right now and I can't even make that work and not feel absolutely awful when things fall through the cracks. And I have to say I have been sticking to the basics and keeping things pretty streamlined.
I don't want to whine about teacher pay, because I feel like my district and state pays well, I'm just wondering if the pay is worth the quality of things at the moment. I know I would take a huge pay cut to work at a coffee shop, but would the reduction in stress be worth it? Sometimes I seriously wonder if we could make ends meet if I worked at Joann Fabrics. I'm not saying other jobs are lacking in stress, I just don't want the same stress. If only teachers could take a year off every once and a while and still have a job to return to! In this market though, teachers are lucky to have a position at all.
I think back to my teacher story that I wrote as a series of posts during the summer and some times think that my road has been too rough. I have worked so hard to make my career work and now I am in my mid-thirties and still stuck in the same cycle. When is it time to say its enough and I can't do this job anymore?
I just needed to write out my thoughts and hope it will give me a boost or connect with someone who is feeling the same things. I am hoping this is just a momentary bump and I will hit my stride and think more clearly again. Until then, all I can do is sleep because I am tired no matter how much rest I get.