We've been super busy in the classroom, and it's been a whirlwind of midterms and now end of quarter projects and grading, play auditions, parent teacher conferences, and of course, meetings. Oh, meetings...
It used to be that I would bring things home to work on, but if it didn't get finished it wasn't the end of the world. Now, if I bring something home to work on and heaven forbid fall asleep, or go out to dinner with my husband and not get it done, I'm completely unprepared the next day. What is happening?? This seems to be the general consensus not just within my building, but the entire nation of teachers!
Sprinkled in among baby announcements, wedding photos, and pumpkin patch pictures, this is what I saw on FB today:
...along with cries for help about feeling overworked, overstressed, and just plain tired. This has got to STOP! Side note: I also feel this way and do this ALL the time. I'm not calling anyone out, I've just been too tired lately to post it on FB. My fingers are even tired. See, now I'm complaining too, and I do it all the time. :)
Last night, I needed to go grocery shopping for my husband's birthday party today (yes, today. Happy Birthday, hubster!), and I was so tired I was hunched over my shopping cart like I was either deathly ill or intoxicated (neither, to be clear). That's just my life right now. We all need to remember why we go into this profession. No matter what changes may be happening, be it more testing, more responsibilities, or less autonomy.
We either all need to propose a solution, or we all need to move to Finland apparently, where the teachers are treated as demigods, and the students apparently are all high achieving and feed you grapes at lunch and sing to you....I'm being hyperbolic, but seriously. Yes, the grass is always greener, but there has to be something negative about teaching in Finland (mostly because if there is not, we are putting the house on the market tonight).
Oh.....Finland. You magical Oz-like land of teaching.
Without a doubt, the greatest part of my work day is always in my classroom, teaching. I LOVE my students this year (yeah, I said love), and I LOVE teaching them and seeing them grow academically, emotionally, socially, all of it. We discuss rigorous questioning techniques, they give amazing presentations in their genius hour classrooms, we spend the last two minutes of class talking as a class about them, and their lives outside of the classroom.
I flat out told my 8th graders I was going to miss them (I feel like I've talked about this before, but I'm too tired to go back and check, lol), and I mean it. I have a passion for teaching that I can only describe as fierce. I am terrified of losing it.
Some days I feel like I have a storm cloud over my head...
Here's the other thing, I'm not truly unhappy, just overwhelmed. I like being a leader in the building, I like being given the opportunity to be involved with change, and I love directing drama at my school. It's hard for me to say that I would give any of it up, but it is truly difficult to find a balance between everything. This year, we teach seven classes. We have a prep period, and a lunch. My prep period is 1st, which is a blessing and a curse! I think once I get in the swing of things in...I don't know...March, it will feel awesome to not have to jump right into teaching first thing.
But right now I'm literally running around my classroom like a psycho trying to get everything ready, copied, organized, ordered, entered, updated, differentiated, analyzed, and cleaned.
How do I go from this every morning:
To the happy and excited person I know I am inside? To top it off, I'm being evaluated this year, and it's my first time being evaluated by the Danielson model. Anything unknown and new makes me very anxious, and I want to make sure I do the best I can. I am definitely a Hermione.
So what is the solution? Laugh? Leave? Cry? Move to Finland?
Think of the positives in your day. Hold on to those, and seek them out. See the good in a situation. Enjoy the moments in your classroom when kids are happy, safe, and learning. Know that you are making a difference, despite the added pressures that come with being an educator today.