Sunday, February 26, 2012

One of those "just the right moment" moments

I have to go to work tomorrow (most of us do, really there's nothing special about it). But I don't want to. I don't want to commit the energy to getting up and making it a worthwhile day for all involved.  I'm still a bit bummed about the general state of education, etc. etc. etc.  But I just stumbled upon this article:
Drop Out Has Thanks, Not Blame for Teacher and I am feeling a bit better.  Still deflated, but maybe not as weighed down by guilt. I love those moments when what you need finds its' way to you unexpectedly and unsought.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teaching Numb

I'm detached.  Nothing that the students do phases me.  I'm teflon. It sucks, because while it is fabulous with the "bad" behaviors, I find myself distrusting the "good" behaviors.  Children who seek my favor out are just kids who would do that for any teacher.   Students who work hard to please me would work hard to please any teacher.  2 students wrote me private notes today and I responded knowing full well that they would have written any teacher a private note, it had nothing to do with anything "me".
I showed up, I taught, I did my job and I left.  I didn't feel like I had made an error and I didn't feel like I had made a difference.  I felt indifferent--like I had done a job.  Teaching is not a "job."
Teaching isn't supposed to feel like that.  I know what teaching feels like. It feels like heartache.  It feels like elation.  It feels exhausting and invigorating.  Teaching feels.  But I'm numb. 
I'm torn.  Numb is good.  Numb doesn't hurt. It doesn't anger. Numb doesn't.  But because it doesn't feel,  it doesn't light that fire that gets me out of bed extra early.  It doesn't recharge my sense of place in this world. 
I hate numb.  I prefer defeat to numb.  I want victory, but I'd take anger.  I might even accept sadness.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Loss of a Runner

It is with great sadness that I write this post.  I got the news today that I lost one.  Truly and completely lost one. Potential gone, hope gone, belief that it's all worth it gone. I want to quit (and frankly lately I want to quit a lot) truly and unequivocally quit, change jobs.  Throw in the towel, crawl into a dark hole and recognize that I will never make a difference and even if for some strange shining few years it appears that I did--know that it won't matter, in the end it won't have mattered. Because I am not that great and I can't overcome any struggles the kids have.  Life is real--their time with me is fleeting and I am not actually that good. My students' successes are not due to anything special in me, my claiming of any role in my students' successes are mere stealing of another one's actual success.
I'd like to end this with hope, with redemption.  But for now I don't feel any.  I feel defeated.  I feel deflated.  I feel like I have to get up again, convince my students that I believe it'll be different for them.  That they won't give in to the world's vices around them.  But I don't feel it tonight. Because tonight I go to bed knowing that I've been wrong.  For the past 5 years, I had a former student I thought of on my hardest days, the student that I remembered whenever I had a moment where I thought I couldn't go on, the student who came in had an amazing growth--went from throwing desks to student body president, the student who made me believe in myself.  Well, he was a lie because in the end the lure of drugs, the lure of a different outcome--well, that won.  And I lost a runner.  I lost THE runner. And for now I've lost myself.