Friday, February 15, 2013

The Seven Year Itch

The last few weeks of work and teaching has been by far the most difficult of my entire seven year career.

Tougher than juggling coaching, teaching 6th grade geography and 8th grade math without a true classroom of my own the first year I taught.

Tougher than dealing with hyper-helicopter parents that emailed me regarding a grade the minute I hit "save" in the online gradebook.

Tougher than leaving my friends and comfort zone when I switched schools because Craig and I were getting married.

Tougher than piecing together a volleyball program that the girls would be proud to be a part of.

Tougher than last fall when I had a volleyball game on Halloween and missed Natalie trick or treating as the most adorable zebra.

Nothing major happened to make it in the school is just plugging away.  Lessons are created, written and put into action.  Students are taking notes, socializing with friends and forgetting to turn in homework.

But something in my soul is restless.  Frustrated.  Annoyed.

I couldn't put my finger on why I was losing my temper or having trouble finding academic inspiration for lessons and my students but then a co-worker said this to me after hearing my complaints - "but you're young, you can go do something else if you want; there is still time."

But I'm not and there isn't.

I've invested seven years of my life to the educational system in Texas and four and a half more than that if you count the years I spent studying to become a teacher.  I'm at the point where I'm too far in to even consider a career change.  And plus....what else am I qualified to do?  In what other career would I have the luxury of summer vacations and two weeks off at Christmas?  Craig and I had a child because we were settled down in our careers - going back to school isn't an option, both in terms of time management and finances.

So here I am.  Struggling to find inspiration.  Frustrated with what seems to be a smear campaign of the public education system by political figures.  Annoyed with students who don't seem to care as much as I do about their success in school or in the athletic arena.  Angry at parents who believe that the school I love so much isn't good enough for their child to attend.

Even writing this post is sapping me of energy.  It's being pieced together sentence by sentence, a little bit written here.....a little bit added over there.  Almost as if I'm trying to siphon out my feelings a tiny piece at a time or else the whole dam might burst and I will be a complete emotional mess sitting alone in my classroom.

Maybe I'm tired right now because I know what awaits me next year - a whole new path in my teaching career.  Or maybe this is a good thing - to become bored with the coaching regime so that I am better prepared to say good-bye to this part of my life when the end of the school year comes.

I guess I'm stuck in limbo.....the perpetual state of waiting - a purgatory of sorts.  Biding my time until the year ends and I start fresh next year with a whole new host of challenges and problems to conquer.  I've just never, EVER had to push myself this hard to be interested and excited about my job.

And now I sit here listening to "Awake My Soul" by Mumford & Sons and they're right.  I need my soul to be awakened and rejuvenated.  I need a change and a challenge.  I need something to kick me into gear so that I can approach my job with fresh eyes and an open heart.

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