Monday, October 7, 2013

Lost, but Here

at 1:55 AM
It's one in the morning on a Sunday night and I'm still awake binging on episodes of Glee and the adult version of KoolAid, Crystal Light. Luckily for me, our district decided to give us a 3-day weekend (which means we have tomorrow off). My district is good like that. This year we have at least one 3-day weekend every month. It's pretty nice.

They're pretty awesome, overall, my district. I mean, they support their teachers in every way imaginable. We have a paper budget, a scope and sequence, and trainings in everything they expect us to utilize in the classroom. We have minimum days built into our schedule so that we have time for professional development without having to miss class. We have late-start days built in for PLC time. We have a superintendent who bought a program called MyAccess and is working on getting the district over 5,000 Chromebooks.

So why I am awake at 1 am? It's not just because I have a day off tomorrow.

This year there have been so many more trainings and meetings going on that I feel like I haven't had any time to stay on top of things. I've been running on empty for a long time now, and I thought having three days with no worries about grades or lesson plans or meetings or scary parents would help still the hectic beating of my heart and ease the pressure that's been suffocating me, but it hasn't.

I'm overwhelmed this year. I'm overwhelmed with how much energy and effort my new block period of ELL support takes. I'm overwhelmed with trying to balance our scope and sequence (which is stuck in the past due to the nostalgia of teachers who have emotional attachments to "the way it's always been") and the new strategies I learned at all the trainings I've been going to. I'm overwhelmed by Common Core. While I totally agree with the change on principle, the implementation process is going to take a "cultural shift" (an idea I'm borrowing from a wonderful trainer in our district), not just in the student population but in the teacher population as well. The idea of being an integral part of the implementation of that cultural change is scary, because it's a lot of work, and highly likely to fail horribly. And I'm overwhelmed by the issues my children face this year. I know I'm not equipped to help them; I'm actually afraid my normal teaching pedagogy is harmful to them.

I'm struggling with my future. Can I really handle staying a classroom teacher? Can I give the kind of effort required to implement this change in the next few years? Am I strong enough to handle changing my pedagogy as well as my strategies? Am I really cut out for doing this or am I just running away? Or is this not my passion? Is it time to find another career?

Since starting teaching, I've known staying in California was only temporary for me. This year I finish my BTSA and clear my credential. The whole reason for staying in California was to get their credential; it travels well to other states and countries. But at the time, I was sure I'd be planning a wedding by now to a naval officer. Teaching was a temporary job so that I'd have a career I could support myself on if it all went sour. And it did go sour. Honestly, all I want is to be a housewife.

I spent most of the last year trying to convince myself the breakup was a good thing and that now I have time to find myself. The self I'm finding still wants that life ...more than anything.

Everyone always says I'm so strong, but I'm tearing myself apart trying to keep my life together.

This is not the life I chose, and I don't know what I want to be.

I talk a big game about going to grad school, and getting into curriculum development. But the reason I want to go back to school is because of the community. I knew who I was in college. Is it the nostalgia that AllGroanUp talks about or is working in high education my true calling? I'm good at it, but I'm good at a lot of things, including my current job.

Where am I going to be happy? Am I thinking about change because I'm afraid staying will be hard? Or am I addicted to change?

I have no idea. I am just as lost now as I've ever been in my life. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Well, this turned out to be a lot more angsty and livejournal-y than I ever intended this blog to get. But I feel as if I don't admit these thoughts to someone, I'll crumble apart.

The reason I started this post was because I had kind of come to a decision. No matter what, I need to get a masters. But I have time to decide on what to get it in. I looked up curriculum development jobs, and they want 3+ years of teaching experience and prefer experience creating a scope and sequence. While I've been trying to get into that in my district, but it will take a bit of time, I think. This information, however, has made me realize that planning to go for my masters in the next year or so isn't going to happen. It would be in my best interest to wait 3-5 years before going for my masters. This relieves a lot of the stress I've been feeling. Also, reflecting tonight, I've realized that staying in my district will give me the best opportunity to get into the jobs I ultimately want.

Jake has been stressing about our evaluations this year (they decide whether or not we get tenure) and my replies have been stressed and flippant. "If I'm not a good fit, then oh well. I'll go somewhere else." I thought taking a "que sera sera" attitude would help my stress levels. I'm realizing that a lot of the stress is because I really love it here. I'm making friends and learning my area and settling in. I joined a gym.

I don't want to worry about leaving. I want to be here. And while I may not know what my ultimate future plans will be... it's ok. As everyone keeps telling me, I have time. And I am going to be here.


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