Thursday, October 25, 2012

Those Weeks

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.

1 comment:

  1. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY! Our quality of life is not what it should be. When I try to do something "fun", I feel guilty because there's so much school work to do. When I do school work, I want to be doing something for myself or spending time with my son. Too many new things are being added to our responsibilities and no one can handle it all. If you are an efficient worker and still could be at work until midnight and not get everything done, there is a problem with the expectations. It's a job where you have to be "on" all the time...rarely go to the bathroom, eat while planning and copying, and I wonder why I even have a chair.
    Many schools. like mine, cut out professional development. We have added expectations, but not enough (or any) training on the new initiatives. We can't even go out for a day to learn something new and get rejuvenated. Just in the grind day after day.
    Sadly, you are not alone. Working at JoAnn's seems like a vacation!