Monday, November 12, 2012

But I Don't Waaaaaant To....

The other day, I wrote about struggling to always see what there is to love about teaching.  I guess you could say I'm kind of in a funk right now when it comes to teaching.  I think I resent it.  Basically, right now, teaching is being a douche bag and mocking me every moment of every day.

It has taken over my life.  My brain.  My "free" time.  My desk.  My wallet.  My library card.  My posture.  (Have you ever stopped to think about what a typical teacher bag weighs?)

Don't get me wrong.  I love teaching.  Teachers.  Students.  Books.  I love planning new units of study, coming up with ways to spice up my classroom, discovering a new incentive to pump up my friends.  I will gladly nerd out with the best of them and talk educational theory, practice, policy, you name it, I will talk about it and talk about it with a smile on my face and a pocket protector in my heart.

But do you know what else I love?  Shoes.  Cooking.  Reading.  A good cup of coffee.  Drinking cocktails.  Being outside.  Feeling in the moment without the constant tug back to the classroom, back to teaching, back to all things education.   

Do you know what else I would like to do?  Finish the painting I started for Mini's birthday.  (It was five months ago.)  Finish my book.  Finish a conversation without feeling guilty that I'm not doing something education related.

I am aware that when we accept this job (dare I say accept this "calling?") into our hearts and minds, we accept it with the knowledge that it will quickly come a defining part of our identities.  It is who we want to be, who we are and can't deny.   But for the love of all things organized I want to be able to do something else without feeling guilty about the stack of books, the pile of papers, the unfinished articles that sit mocking me from my desk.

What is it about teaching and feeling guilty?  About being a teacher and feeling like we have to be a super hero at every moment of every day?

Let me paint you a picture.  My house.  Sunday afternoon.  Mini is napping away.   Mr. Mimi is sipping coffee and enjoying the latest DVRed episode of No Reservations.  (He loves him some Anthony Bourdain.)  Despite being an incredibly hard worker who recently began his own successful company, he is relaxed.  I want to sit with him.  I want a cup of coffee.  But the idea of taking the time to get a cup of coffee when I could be at my desk working on the latest unit I've agreed to write makes me want to claw my eyes out with that sort of insanity!  Why that's two minutes I could use to get something done?!?  The waste!

And then what do I do?  I sit at my computer and throw myself a pity party and get next to nothing accomplished!

This post should come complete with a downloadable violin solo to play while reading because I acknowledge that I'm whining, but eeeeeeeeeehhhhhh.  (That was my attempt to spell what whining sounds like.)  When I get this out of balance, I can't get anything done.  When I'm balanced, I could negotiate a peace treaty, finish the laundry and organize a fundraiser for displaced cats all while shopping online for fabulous shoes and without batting an eyelash. 

Must.  Find.  Balance. 

Now somebody send me a cup of coffee.  I have work to do. 

Here's hoping you are having a much more balanced weekend.



14 comments:

Summers School said...

I feel the same way most of the time. I try really hard to make sure to find 'balance'. Sometimes it works... and sometimes I have to let my kids slide a bit so I don't go bonking crazy.

We're becoming an IB school, and one of the defining characteristics of an IB school is that the students and staff are 'balanced.' Our principal even got on the intercom during balanced week and said that we all need to be seeking balance more.

We wanted to yell at her. SHE is allowed to go home at 3:30 (hour after school), when we're still in meetings for behavior, special education, IB planning, etc.

We aren't given a chance to find balance.

*deep breaths* You're not alone.

Tracy Fitzwater said...

How is it that you wrote about the exact same thing I was thinking about this morning?! I ignored school while we went to a wedding, but now that we're back, I am forced to think school thoughts. Sigh...balance seems elusive, but it's always my goal. Thanks for saying so well what I was thinking.

Sara K said...

Coffee is one of the ways that I try to trick myself into thinking that I'm having a relaxing weekend/evening/moment between teaching and grad school. I'm with you. I can't imagine myself enjoying any other job as much as I enjoy teaching, but oh man - that is not a happy thought right now. Hang in there!

Realistic Teacher said...

I am glad to know that I am not the only teacher out here who feels like "teaching stuff" consumes my life!

Although I love, love, love teaching, I sometimes wish there were an end of the day. Just when I think I'm done my brain begins to spin and another project is on the burner!

I know you're busy with Mini (yes, I'm a momma too) but try getting out of the house. I recently joined a gym (no, I am not the kind of skinny girl with a cute ponytail that normally goes to the gym), and I love it! I am doing Zumba with friends (aka - other teachers) and it is sort of a support group.

Hang in there - you're not the only teacher who has hit that wall of exhaustion. Chin up buttercup!

Elise said...

I'm right there with you. I'm single and I feel such a tug to be doing school related stuff all the time. I can't imagine how people who have husbands and kids can balance it all. I'd have a breakdown.

PamelaTrounstine said...

Just when I thought you were going from SuperSuperColleagueTeacher to SuperWoman, you post like you just did. Now I am sure it is a universal struggle. Just remember that resting and recharging is like thinking in the shower. Great things come from regular practice.

Mimi said...

Pamela -
Hope I didn't disappoint...I don't want to have to give back my cape...it matches my shoes!

Katrina said...

Nice rant! I think we all feel that way sometimes. PS - Check your email. I am interested in advertising on your blog.

Kathy said...

I agree with the first comment... we aren't given a chance to find balance with all the things we are expected to do each day. And on top of that, we have the weight of the expectations to constantly become better. I am all for professional development and continuing to find more effective ways to teach and reach our students, but it is tiring to rarely (never?) feel like we are good enough in the eyes of administrators. Evaluations and unrealistic expectations have a way of pulling at us and weighing on our minds and making balance an all too often elusive thing. So good to know I am not alone. :)

Chuck Franco said...

I am an aspiring teacher, and this post has made me realize that teaching may not come with as much free time as it may have entailed. Are you trying to say in this post that you don't have time for other things, or that you feel bad doing other things when you could be working on educational tasks? Also, what do your summers look like?

Chuck Franco said...

I am an aspiring teacher, and this post has made me realize that teaching may not come with as much free time as it may have entailed. Are you trying to say in this post that you don't have time for other things, or that you feel bad doing other things when you could be working on educational tasks? Also, what do your summers look like?

Darcy Hill said...

Your honesty is awesomely delightful and refreshing:) Teaching is hard and truly utterly consuming; trust me, 30 years of teaching has confirmed that!!We all need to vent, and laugh, and cry together and then march back into the classroom and create magic, wonder and excellence for these kiddos who deserve the best we've got:) Thanks for your insightful and wonderful post!! Darcy Hill

Fourth Grade Stars in Room 15 said...

I know exactly how you feel.....I mean I really do! Of course I need to put in this part first, I love teaching, BUT, OMG!! WTF!!! I HATE the NONSENSE. I want to kil myself when we are introduced to the latest teaching concept, I want to slowly die when I find out our new behavior plan ONLY rewards kids who usually make "wrong choices" when they do something right=no consequences, "data driven" lessons, TESTING, focus on PBL wait...no...Better get those test scores up, new adoption (WHO I ask you got the stripper, rooms in Las Vegas and drink coupons?...wasn't me!) and so much more.
I want to laugh a million years (and teach hyperbole at the same time) when parents say things like, "How about you write me every day how Jonny Crack up is doing-be sure to keep notes ALL day about his behavior) "No" I say "I don't have time, you idiot!", you give too much homework, Bob isn't getting enough homework, what can I do if Jane won't stop playing video games and do her homework (Gee, take the games away, duh, I don't know,,,are you serious people?) you are too strict, you are not strict enough, Bob can NOT remember his times tables (well then good luck in division, are you practicing with him at home because I can't rip his head off, put them in there' and out said head back on).
NEXT, Bill Gates is on TED TALKS telling ME HOW to teach (WTF does he know about 36 ten year olds and bubble in tests)? NOTHING! How about donating a billion dollars to my school, no wait, we don't need more money because studies show funding is not relevant" wait WHAT? Right and class reduction does NOT mean you have more time for each kid? YES it does. C.mon folks stop being retar**&!.

I so get you!

Fourth Grade Stars in Room 15 said...

I know exactly how you feel.....I mean I really do! Of course I need to put in this part first, I love teaching, BUT, OMG!! WTF!!! I HATE the NONSENSE. I want to kil myself when we are introduced to the latest teaching concept, I want to slowly die when I find out our new behavior plan ONLY rewards kids who usually make "wrong choices" when they do something right=no consequences, "data driven" lessons, TESTING, focus on PBL wait...no...Better get those test scores up, new adoption (WHO I ask you got the stripper, rooms in Las Vegas and drink coupons?...wasn't me!) and so much more.
I want to laugh a million years (and teach hyperbole at the same time) when parents say things like, "How about you write me every day how Jonny Crack up is doing-be sure to keep notes ALL day about his behavior) "No" I say "I don't have time, you idiot!", you give too much homework, Bob isn't getting enough homework, what can I do if Jane won't stop playing video games and do her homework (Gee, take the games away, duh, I don't know,,,are you serious people?) you are too strict, you are not strict enough, Bob can NOT remember his times tables (well then good luck in division, are you practicing with him at home because I can't rip his head off, put them in there' and out said head back on).
NEXT, Bill Gates is on TED TALKS telling ME HOW to teach (WTF does he know about 36 ten year olds and bubble in tests)? NOTHING! How about donating a billion dollars to my school, no wait, we don't need more money because studies show funding is not relevant" wait WHAT? Right and class reduction does NOT mean you have more time for each kid? YES it does. C.mon folks stop being retar**&!.

I so get you!

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