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A midnight post

September 29, 2010

Wow.  Is it ever dusty around here!  My last post was at the very beginning of September, and now we are at the end.  I wonder if I even remember how to blog…

I am tired.  I have so much work to do.  I don’t want to go to bed because the house is quiet, and I am alone down here.  I watched some bad TV after correcting papers.  That felt so good.  To do something mindless.  But my mind clicks back into full gear quite quickly.

Teaching is, well, better.  But it is still kind of like feeling my way through the dark.  There are glimmers where I feel like I have connected with my students and then there are lessons like today.  I feel like they would have spent their time better by skipping class.  We began “main idea” this week.  I can honestly say that I hate teaching it.  I hate it.  I am trying to reconcile my feelings with what needs to be taught, but I am having trouble doing that.  I am not teaching the way I want to teach.  But I don’t know how to teach the way I want to teach.  I don’t have enough information.  I don’t know my students well enough.  There is not a good assessment that helps me with their reading level, and it is so difficult to guess what is in their heads.

I have had really good moments.  I have really liked my students.  And, I have had some bad days too.  I have started my Saturday classes, and I like them.  I only have eight students in that class.

I feel like I am a glass of water.  Slowly the water level rises.  And, suddenly it starts spilling over the sides.  The level never really goes down.  It is always on the rim of the glass.  Anything that happens, and it is totally random, seems to make it spill.  It isn’t like I am really crying, I am just sort of leaking:

  • My dad has cancer.  Nothing serious.  Skin cancer that you have to go in and have scraped until you are free and clear of it.  He has already gone in for the scraping.  I met him there after work and sat with him for a couple of hours.  That was last week.  From there, I had to get the kids from school, get them to their hair cut appointments, and then get them to soccer.
  • That schedule, that is almost every day.  Monday:  Kids had a dentist appointment at 8 AM.  Brought them to school (late), went to work, worked late because I had a meeting at 3:00.  Got home at 4:30.  Had to get Sarah to choir, and pick up Katie and Nicholas from Chess Club.  From there we went right to soccer.   It is crazy.  And exhausting.  And time intensive.
  • Our school district is re-drawing the school boundaries.  It totally affects my kids.  I am sick to death of the thought of being forced to leave that school.  I am also sick to death of how it will affect some of the other populations around our city.  I had to go to a meeting last week, and it doesn’t sound good.  This means I have to be involved and active in order to get my kids to be able to stay in their school, and all kids to be able to stay in the school where they started school.  See above:  Schedule is Crazy.
  • Bethany’s amazing posts about her childhood and the shocking truth of what is happening in our country.
  • Seeing a dead cat on the freeway.
  • Teaching a bad lesson.  (or lessons…or semesters….)
  • Guilt about house chores, and me not doing them.
  • Feeling selfish for doing this when I should be working or sleeping.
  • Having to teach a whole different class next semester.  Which means I will be just as clueless as I am this semester.  Which means I can’t start school for my reading license until summer.

I wish I had a better handle on things.  I just feel stuck.  I don’t have what I need to get to where I want to be.  I need to get excited about teaching, but if I am being honest, I am really NOT excited about it.  Not about the content, not about the students, not about anything.  I need to figure out what is missing, because I love teaching.  I love the creativity and the best practice, the collaboration with colleagues,  and the connection with the students.  I feel like I have none of those things right now.  I know it will come.  I am just impatient.  And, I feel sorry for my students.  They are not getting the quality that they deserve.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer.  This is just a great place to be real.  I don’t allow myself that luxury in my real life.  Everything is great!

So, have you missed me?  I have missed you.  What have you all been doing?

  1. September 29, 2010 2:22 am

    Are you kidding? Of course we missed you! We all understand that you’ve been busy and teacherly though, so no worries.
    I’m sorry about the crazy scheduling and class demands combining to snuff your spark. Burnout this early in the school year is just rotten. It sounds like you, YOU need some attention, something to recharge your batteries and fill your happiness reserve again.
    Sending you oodles of love.

    • October 10, 2010 12:22 pm

      I will take the love. Thank you. I don’t know if I would call it burn out. I think I am just a control freak who is not in control. Things are good, and I will figure it out somehow…sometime…soon I hope!

  2. September 29, 2010 6:43 am

    Please don’t even THINK that we didn’t miss you! Every day I miss my Megsie!

    My sweet friend, I want to give yourself a dose of grace. Now. Picture it like you’re scooping up grace out of an ice cream carton, big heaping scoops, and place it in your bowl. Or like a big tall glass, with grace pouring in like pink lemonade. Drink it up, lick the bowl. You are being extremely hard on yourself. Teaching college is surely difficult and I am sure every first year teacher (of teaching COLLEGE) struggles with figuring it out. I know you are trying your hardest and that’s all anyone can ask of you.

    I remember my first year of teaching GED; I felt like I always swimming in unknown waters. I made oodles of mistakes. And then, the second year, I had only so much energy and time, with a new baby waiting on me and my boobs to GET HOME ALREADY. But! You will know so much more next semester. Next year.

    As for the rest of it, yeow! It makes my head spin. I am hoping your dad will be just fine. I cannot imagine how exhausting the afterschool schedule is; now is the time to ask for HELP.

    Just know that you are fearfully loved. Hoping you feel a little better after getting so much out.

    • October 10, 2010 12:26 pm

      Thank you Sam. I came back to read your comment several times. Especially the part about being hard on myself. Yes. I am, but have to be. These students are counting on ME to help them figure this stuff out. I don’t want to fail them. Although, I feel like I am continually failing them. It is like walking around in a pitch black room hoping you can make your way. After this semester, I sure hope there will be a crack of light.

      And, I did lick the bowl. Thank you.

  3. September 29, 2010 2:01 pm

    I have missed you so much and was so glad to see a post from you, especially a “keeping it real” one. Those are the best kind, you know. This is just a crazy time of year for everyone I think, and being a teacher must intensify it times two. I feel an awful lot like what you are writing about, but I haven’t been able to sit down and write it out.

    And even if the cancer is “nothing serious,” cancer is always so scary. HUGS to you XOXO!!!

    • October 10, 2010 12:29 pm

      Yes. The cancer. Just the word is scary and makes my blood pressure rise. It really was the dead cat that put me over the edge. Why? I have no idea. It just made me start leaking out all over the place. You can only hold it in so long, I suppose. My dad is fine. They got it all. I haven’t checked in about how his appointment went when they took the stitches out. I need to do that! Hugs right back at you!

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