Thursday, October 13, 2011

Balancing is an act

Teaching is not only my job, it is my life. I look forward to creating fun new activities for my students, and I spend most of my time talking and thinking about my classroom and the work I am doing. I'm getting to a place where I'm enjoying my workday--the adorable personalities of my students, the beauty of actually seeing them learn, and feeling rejuvenated in the morning when we get to start our day together.
I am a teacher through and through, still learning and making missteps, sometimes tripping over potholes and struggling to get up, but I feel like I have something to give to these students, whereas last year I felt like I was just misserving them day after day. So here I feel better in my career, better that I am spending so much time on thinking of my classroom and wanting to do so without feeling like I'm going to explode. But now that I am here, I feel like I have failed.
I spend my time thinking about my clasroom and students. I have said that over and over. I am horrible at balancing, horrible at keeping up communications, horrible at initiating much of anything. I am in this cycle of teach teach teach, work work work, check teaching blogs for ideas, create some of these things at home, have a beer, watch a show or read, go to sleep. I am behind on paying bills, on calling people who are very important to me, on basically anything that doesn't involve teaching. It's at the forefront of my mind...whatever I do is kind of dictated by teaching. If it's a crazy week I might say I need a weekend away and go escape with my family or David, or if it's a crazy week I'll excuse myself to put off yet another "non-work" thing until tomorrow.
I don't know how to balance. I've never been good at it and never has it worn on me like it does now. Last year I felt like a failure as a teacher and that consumed most of me--the feeling of not wanting to walk or talk or engage in one more activity in my day--and not sure how to respond when people didn't seem to understand that. Now, I'm feeling more at a place to balance, but I don't know how, and I fear it's too late. I'm envisioning myself on one of those scales, and the side with teaching is receiving all the weight. Everything else is floating, and I'm waving my arms listlessly, only half-heartedly trying to catch it. I want to talk about teaching and share ideas and tell everyone about how AC wrote a beautiful story today, or how JB's eccentricities make me want to pick him up and take him home, or how one of my students is experiencing things he shouldn't be at home and the thought of it or him so deeply affects me that I look at him and tear up...and I fear I don't know how to interact about anything else anymore.
This work is the most important thing I do, and yet I feel like now I'm failing at everything else...

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