It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write or to blog or to get my thoughts out in any other avenue, so, I’ve decided I’m going to make a better effort to do so. I don’t know how therapeutic it will be, but, at least it will help me organize my brain.
It’s 9:08 and I promised myself that I would stop working 8 minutes ago. Actually, I promised myself that I would stop working one hour and 38 minutes ago, but there’s a tiny sumo wrestler in my chest that pushes down every time I think about stepping away; one who reminds me that I have way too much to do to stop and that things will only be worse if I don’t finish my endless list. Who knew that teaching would end up to be such a demeaning and abusive profession?
I say that, and I know it’s a harsh statement to make, but that’s what I feel. I feel it all the way down in my gut. In the pit of my gut. I feel mistreated. I feel like everyday my work load gets heavier and no one takes a moment to praise or to thank. No, life is not about either of those things, but for the amount of negative, some amount of positive has to come heal the wounds, right?
I’ve literally spent the last two days obsessing over my teaching portfolio because I don’t know when my evaluations are going to begin again for this semester. I have actually spent more time working on that damn portfolio than I have caring about my students and preparing lessons for them, which has thusly propagated the toilet bowl of death; I become grumpy because I am unprepared. My students hate being in my class because I am grumpy. I hate being around my students because they complain about me. Yet, my priority is to survive evaluation year and to please the thousands who are asking of me.
When Robert and I were engaged and were participating in a pre-marital counseling retreat, the toilet bowl of death is what one of the counselors referred to a bad cycle as. Back then, I was prone to nagging and creating conflict by having unrealistic expectations of Robert, and in response, he would shut down… which, of course, would cause more conflict. We did this to the point of exhaustion and misery.
That metaphor has been reincarnated lately in our house, but not in regards to our marriage. Robert understands the depression that has washed over me and the helplessness I feel.
I’m not too proud to admit that teaching at a high-poverty school with all the hoops and obstacles of the Title 1 program funded by the government is not for everyone. And that includes me.
So, while you go about your days, please consider me in your thoughts and prayers. I am desperate to pass my evaluation year without completely burning out on the profession. I still love literature. I still love teaching… but I don’t know at this point if the abuse is worth it.