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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Incoherent pile of emotions.

I realized recently that I'm just not having fun. Usually, in the past, I just have fun with kids. They're neat! And these kids are neat, they're awesome. So, I don't know what it is that is making me dread every day. I simply am not enjoying myself at all. I'm trying to change that. I feel as if I'm stuck in some type of rut. Wake up, shower, drive 40 minutes to school, get there, run the marathon that is every school day, organize and do some prep work after school, leave to come home at about 5:30, sing to music in car on the way home so as not to fall asleep, quickly stick food in mouth, go to campus to really plan for the next day, come home at about 11:30, wash Tupperware from lunch, set timer on coffee maker, crash into bed. Rinse and repeat.

There is no fun. No frivolity. (No exercise, no friends, no actual cooking, etc.) I'm planning/prepping nearly every waking minute and I'm always, always behind. Which is strange since we never actually get to many of my plans, since I can't figure out how to calm the students down enough to get much work done (see previous posts).

On top of my regular school planning, I have reading and assignments to do for my student teaching university class that goes along with student teaching. (And oh my, I truly love that class - it is the one thing I look forward to every week.) My mind is in mental chaos.

I keep hoping that the next day will be better. I will find the magic solution to my classroom management problems, and suddenly I'll be able to teach again, instead of just manage.

Maybe this was good for me - pull me out of my idealistic bubble. It's never good to be in a bubble anyway. At least now I understand when people say they paid their debt working in "tougher" school districts and then flee to work in the wealthy suburbs. I can see where they're coming from. I dream (literally) of the kids I have worked with in the past, from different neighborhoods. Kids who don't have the complications of poverty, parents being deported, etc. On the one hand, I don't feel that I could really go back and do that now, not permanently anyway. (I may work one more summer for the same camp I have for many years). These kids I'm working with now really pull me in and make me want to search for that elusive something that will allow them to momentarily push aside all the obstacles put before them, and allow them to just learn at school. I'll only be here for a few more weeks. I don't know what I'm going to do when I don't get to see them anymore.

Basically I feel many mixed emotions. I love the kids but hate that I cannot teach them because they won't quiet down for the 2-3 minutes it would take to give directions. I absolutely love the ideal of a dual-language immersion school, but really dislike many of the scheduling intricacies that basically make it so that the kids never have any idea what classroom they are supposed to be in.

I love teaching in theory, in reality though...I'm currently feeling kind of ambivalent. I'm waiting though. Waiting and hoping to find my passion again. I know it's there, it's just been pushed aside by the harsh views of reality. I'm looking for a way for my idealism and the existing realities to share a space in the forefront of my being.


Anonymous macdo said...

When I was teaching, I had a long period (about 6 months) of just, well, bleuuuur.
YOu now, get up, get dressed, get showered, get to school, get into the classroom, get out, get coffee, get into classroom, get out, get marking, get preparing, get sleep, get infinite loop. Even weekends were the same, with more sleep and preparing, and less classroom.

And then I realised that I was getting somewhere - lesson planning was easier, kids were actually paying attention, I was actually appreciated in the staff room (though not by the boss :-) ). Basically, I retrieved my joie de vivre. (Disclaimer: marking French kids' papers stayed bleuuuur).

I don't know why I ever felt bleuuur. But I really don't know why I stopped feeling that way. So I feel for you. Don't worry, you can do it !

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Not Quite Grown Up said...

Thanks. I think part of my bleuuur (as you describe it) can be attributed to my relationship with my CT. We had different personalities and different teaching styles. In my constant effort to teach the way she wanted me to, I was (still am) holding myself back in a way - I'm not allowing the true ME to show through in my teaching. And that makes it tough to get as enthusiastic about things as I wish I could.

10:27 PM  

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