Yikes! I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve reverted to the stressball I was before winter break. I’m feeling a little too much pressure, and I’m not dealing with it all that well at the moment. School has been back in session only eight days since break, and I’ve missed two of those days. I took a sick day last week and slept virtually all day. On Monday of this week I had a professional day of collaboration with other educators. It was fabulous. Those other eight though…
It’s not the kids. The kids are fine. It’s not the other teachers. They are amazing. What is it? I guess it’s all the demands. In those eight days I’ve been visited by my administrator at least four times. I’ve also been visited by our instructional coach and another coach sent in from the district. I’m being watched.
Now lest you think I’m “in trouble” or a slacker, I assure you I am not. HOWEVER, and this is obviously a big however (you did see the all caps, right?), my winter test scores weren’t great. Not just mine, the whole grade level. In fact we’re all being visited. I’m not sure it’s necessary or even helpful. Long story short, many hours have been spent discussing the situation, and measures are being taken to correct it. I hate being in this position. All of us do. We are professionals. We work hard. Really really hard.
I typically arrive at school by 7:30, take a 25 minute lunch unless I have kids come to do some work, then it’s closer to 12 minutes, and stay until 5 or later. Then I work at home many evenings and weekends. Why? Well, there are 29 sets of papers to be graded, scores to be entered, phone calls and emails to be returned, lessons to be planned and created, tests and practice sheets to be written, and test data to be evaluated. Then there are meetings to attend, forms to fill out, book orders to complete, displays to create, pencils to sharpen, web sites to update, and so much more.
This is not to complain, just to enlighten. The whole image of teachers working 8 to 3 and taking summers off is a fairy tale. Most of us love teaching and love kids, which is why we do it. None of us got into education for fame or fortune. But this is crazy. This feeling of never quite doing enough, never quite having enough time, never quite giving all the students exactly what they need at all times. It’s a lot. It’s too much. I have to cut myself a little slack or I won’t be any good to them. I know what I’m doing. I know I’m a good teacher. I can’t let the current situation get to me, or it will end up sabotaging my efforts. I just need to take a step back and breathe. In, out, in , out… I can do this. I have to.