Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why my blog should charge me by the hour...

I think I have professional depression. It’s been stated that 50% of new teachers leave the profession after 5 years. This is my fourth.

Now, before my husband asks why the hell we spent all that money on my elementary education graduate degree, I can tell you that I’m not quitting. I. Am. Not. Quitting. I am just trying to find the reason or source of my overall blahness. I can’t continue to wake up each morning, exhausted, not wanting to go to work. I can’t continue to come to school and only be half engaged with my class. I can’t continue to mumble, “It was fine, I am tired” to my husband each time he asks how my day was.

I’ve been approaching many of my fabulous colleagues and asking, “are you wiped out too?” Turns out, many of them are. So one of my developing theories is that I am simply in a contagious rut that I will bounce out of within the next few days or weeks (please God, days). Why we are all in this rut, we do not know. One colleague and I tried to remember if we felt like this the past year and both of us seemed sure that this feeling is new.

There are some moments, on bad days the moments last all day, when I wonder if this profession is where I will be for the next 5, 10 or even 20 years. I wonder if I have the stamina. I wonder if I have the desire to help a group of 20+ kiddos go from here to way up there year after year. These moments are not daily, but lately they've been too frequent for comfort.

But each day gets better. If I was in AA I would tell you that it’s one day at a time. I had a fabulous planning session with my two amazing co-teachers. That alone lightened my step and invigorated me. I’m changing things up that I find boring. And if I find it boring, just imagine what my kids think. Our conversation was fun, exciting and sometimes giddy. Love planning like that.

I’m also adjusting my approach to those couple of students that are just irritating. I am digging deep and finding something to love, no matter how little, but there are two left that I’m still in the trenches with a shovel with. How deep do I have to dig?! But that’s just two. I have eighteen lovies that all have a special something about them.

New routines and new schedules have also been hard, so I’m looking at those and figuring out ways to make it all work. My fabulous administration has been working hard to help me change specials to make it better. That’s been awesome.

Frankly, with each word I type, I am thinking that it’s fine. I’m fine. This is all fine. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I certainly see the light.

The subtitle of this blog, because blogging is cheaper than therapy, never rang truer than it does today.


Kstack said...

You can't quit. Your words, your stories and your reflections make me laugh and cry, they inspire me, and they help me see that it's not ALL bad. But also, they help me see that it is bad everywhere, not just here in my town.

I tell parents that NCLB has hit kindergarten. I've been fending it off for years, but I am under it's murky, sticky, stifling, oppressiveness and I don't like it one bit. I don't like the teacher I have to be. I don't like treating students like this. I don't like it one bit. But I believe this too shall pass, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will get to the mountaintop!!

Hang in there, sisters!! (yeah, brothers, too)

kiri8 said...

You should read my latest post -- it's quite similar to yours. You're feeling blah because TEACHING IS HARD. And also maybe because the teacher-bashing is increasing in the media with the release of Waiting for Superman. (I plan to see the movie, and expect to like it, in some ways. Not liking the responses to it, though.)

Hang in there and know that you are not alone.