September 23, 2010

Open the Windows...

I think I need to vent.

Do you mind?

I have been feeling really run down the last few days. I've been feeling generally disappointed when I look back at the progress I've made on my work and home To Do Lists. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed? I'm not sure, but I'm not comfortable in this place.

Ultimately, work has been my biggest stressor. Because of 3 major snow storms that crushed the mid-Atlantic last winter, my school system had to extend the school year an extra two weeks. Normally this would not be a big deal, as we are used to snow each winter, but our school year started earlier than usual this year. Therefore, my summer was consumed entirely by wedding planning and at the last minute, prepping for school.

I feel like I never got a break.

However, I know that I had such a memorable summer and am grateful for the time I got to spend with my family and friends. But, I do believe that my lack of "me" time this summer is projecting onto my general attitude this school year.

School is weird this year. My students and I aren't gelling as much as I would hope (which might be unfair to say since I had such a lovely group of students last year...I was spoiled), but I think it's from an ambiguous pressure that teachers feel on them more than usual. My plate is full and each time I take something off, another project looms. Maybe I need to cut back my responsibility as Student Government advisor, or use a different strategy when it comes to balancing my role as an English teacher and my role as an advisor. It's a hard balance to keep. It normally results in me being at school until 5:30 or 6 most evenings.

What bothers me most, is that I really do like my job, but all I want to do is crochet, produce product, and promote Donna's Decembers. I am becoming resentful at how much "after-hours" work I must complete each and every day as a teacher. Hours of planning, grading, and advising that often bleed into my time at home. I leave my house at 7 a.m. to be at work by 7:30, which is an hour early. I rarely leave at my contractual time, 4 p.m. I am at school until 5:30 or 6, and rarely finish everything I need for the next day. really love the creative part of my life and I want to be able to embrace it more. I am just so tired when I get home that I want to curl up with Cory or one of the cats and sleep.

How can I stretch my day so I feel more fulfilment from what I love to do? How can I balance my creative life and mix it into my work life?

Thank you for listening. Sometimes I just need an ear.

Thoughts? Feelings?
Any other teachers out there feel me on this one?

1 comment:

  1. i am a teacher too. I teach sixth grade, and where I am from, that is still elementary school. I have actually been feeling this exact same way. Because I haven't been feeling motivated I feel like I am one of "those" teachers. You know the ones. The ornery ones that people wonder, "why is this person a teacher?"

    Last year I had a really tough class so I was pumped for the new year. Come October I am not feeling the same way. I have a few students that are great kids, but I guess I just clash with their personalities which makes it hard for me to get excited about seeing my students.

    On top of that I have meetings 3 days a week now after school contact hours. I leave my house at 7 am and generally get home around 6 pm. 11 hour work days. Not so fun. I am also struggling financially which really upsets me. I work 11 hours a day (plus more when I get home) and eat an oatmeal packet for breakfast and lunch because it is cheap. It's not like I can go ask for a raise or can take a second job (heaven forbid) because I have no time.

    With all of these things on top of each other, I too, like you, want to simply doodle, knit, read, nap, etc. I have decided that as a service project this year, I am going to teach all of my student how to either knit or crochet. They will each be required to finish one item, be it a hat or scarf, and we will donate them to a homeless shelter. I am also trying to integrate more art and creativity into my curriculum. Hopefully this will help get my motivation up.

    Parent teacher conferences this week. Here I come...

    Hope things have gotten better for you since you wrote this! If nothing else, know that there is a fellow educator out there feeling exactly the same way you are!