There are several days throughout each month when I think, I just can’t do this anymore; should I take that secretary position instead? Then, something gets done (FINALLY) and suddenly I’m feeling like I can cope again, possibly even optimistic and excited about what I do.
Regardless of how I’m feeling on the inside, I never let it show on the outside around my kids. My students will tell you that I’m a total nut job in the classroom. I pace around the room when I lecture, involve kids in discussions by playing out scenarios, reenact scenes from prose and verse with gusto, funny voices, and often props, and make fun of the characters in the stories so that the kids get what is going on and why it’s important to remember. I set up games for review, give them everything they need to succeed, provide online access to all notes, PowerPoints, and handouts in case they lose something or are absent, and yet I still have failures. There is nothing more frustrating than grading 138 essays and having the average grade turn out to be an F. Why? These kids felt that writing something the night before and turning it in the next day would suffice. They took me two months, TWO MONTHS to grade. The average number of comments on a paper was 53. I don’t have time for this kind of bullshit. I made time because I had no choice. How am I going to make time when I end up going back to work after being able to stay home with my kids? What if I don’t end up being able to stay home with my kids? What if I don’t end up being able to have kids?
If I have to go through the same scenarios and difficulties that I’ve been battling for the past three years for the rest of my career, I can assure you that I won’t be a teacher any more. I hate that my dream job has been so overrun with politics and government interference that I don’t want that dream anymore. I love what I do. I hate what I have to do. I hate the idea of throwing away what I worked so hard for for four years in college to become a secretary. (No offense to the secretaries of the world- I loved being a secretary, but it’s not what I spent tens of thousands of my parents’ hard earned money to become.) There’s no way that I’d leave in the middle of the year, barring some kind of mental/emotional breakdown or dangerous illness. I could never do that to my boss let alone do that to my kids. I’m trapped.
I hate this feeling.
I have to keep reminding myself what it’s like to see them walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.
However, with the way grades are looking now, I wonder how many of them will actually make it that far…