Last night, I was hanging out with my friends. It was amazing because we never hang out anymore. But anyway, the atmosphere changed when we started talking about jobs. My friends know that I want to move away from this small town and closer to my home state. That is how the conversation started. They just wanted to know if I was looking. But then I let it slip that I am looking for jobs outside of education which of course, came as a total shock to them.
After that, I was told that I was a good teacher. I know that he really meant it because as school psychologist, he has been in my classroom before observing students. Then, he told me he has heard it from other people as well.
I have been told by several people that I am a good teacher. And maybe I am and maybe I am not. I look at myself both ways. But then I am reminded of the story in the Bible of the man who gives three people each a different amount of talents (coins) and they are supposed to use these talents. Two of the people do, the other doesn’t. The talent is then taken away from the one and given to one of the others.
I cannot help but feel like this one guy who doesn’t use his talent. If my one talent is taken away, what exactly am I supposed to do? I have no other talents. But teaching is not what I want to do. I do not understand why God would give me a talent that makes me unhappy.
In counseling the other day, we talked about how I was considering leaving this small town and this state and return to my home state and to a town close to my parents. I had even worked up the courage to ask my superintendent and principal for reference letters. My counselor thought it would be good for me to get close to home. However, I talked about how difficult it would be to leave my friends and have to move.
My counselor suggested taking the application process slow. After all, the deadline was not until April. And since I thought this was the right job for me, I needed to put a lot of effort into the application.
I worked on the application some yesterday since we had no school. I even got up the courage to tell my friends that I was considering a different job so that I could ask for advice on my resume. Today, I went to finish my online application and discovered that the job had been taken down.
I was stunned by the news. I was starting to accept the idea of leaving and could picture myself in this town. Plus, I had already told my friends. The frustration really made me want to cut. I cannot make any promises that it won’t happen anyway. I am just frustrated that after all I went through, my dreams have been dashed because the job is no longer there. I even told my counselor that I did not want to tell people in case I did not get the job but she told me no negative thinking.
I did find another job to apply for that is somewhat close to my parents and at least in my home state. However, I did not tell my friends the horrible news. I am afraid I might start crying. Plus, since I want to cut, they might not be very pleased.
This afternoon was parent teacher conferenrces (joy). That was part of the reason why my friend was so worried about me coming off my antidepressant. I did all right though. Until one of my student’s parents came in that is.
This girl is very intelligent and very nice. I had no bad things to talk about with her parents. But then at the very end, her parents said that her brother, who is two years older and in a different classroom, was being picked on by a student in my class in the restroom. Honestly, the comment did not surprise me. However, it was what the parents implied that bothered me. Pretty much, they accused me of letting the boy go to the restroom too much and that I am not watching the kids. They also said that because the boy’s desk is in the back of the room (because he cannot handle being near the other kids) that he waits to use the restroom when he sees the other kid come out of his classroom.
First of all, this kid does use the restroom all the time. But he really does need to go. And he only asks to go when I am done teaching and it is his work time. Second, I cannot babysit the kid all the time. I especially cannot watch the kid ten times a day while he goes to the restroom. Third, the other student’s teacher only allows her students to use the restroom twice a day so I cannot believe that this student has really had that many encounters with my student. Fourth, the kid is very tall so I cannot believe that my student would have that much courage to pick on someone. Finally, the parents of the boy supposedly being picked on is encouraging him to stand up for himself in self defense. I am sorry but self defense is not going to fly with me. I will send any kid that harms another kid to the principal no matter what the circumstances might be.
I was really upset by how mad the parents were at me for not doing anything. How can I stop something that I do not know about. And plus, why has the kid not said anything to his teacher?
Yes, I know my student is a bully. And nobody has no idea what lengths I go through to ensure that he is unable to harm anyone, physically or verbally. But I am unable to catch everything. And really, I am not getting the support I need from his parents or the principal. So I will do what I can, when I can. However, in the end, I am going to need some help.
Yesterday morning, I began thinking about how it would be nice to go home for the weekend. I was rather surprised by this thought since it was only Tuesday. Plus, I had just gone home for Easter two weeks ago and summer will be here in three weeks. I had thought I would probably just stay here until summer. I kept debating whether I should go home because if I did, I would want to take a day off from school. I live four hours away and I am going to make my trip worthwhile.
After the day I had yesterday, I finally decided I should go home. I was so angry yesterday. One of the special teachers cancelled class because there was something going on in the gym and she did not want music class to disrupt them. The thing is, the event was happening an hour after my class so there would be no interference. And, she could have chosen to do something quiet. Instead, she chose to cancel class. I am not allowed to do that. And when she decided to cancel class, I suddenly have to find something to keep my class busy for that thirty minutes. Why should that be my responsibility? And why should I have to give up my break in order to supervise? I sometimes I only get a thirty minute break the entire day if I have noon duty for a week (thankfully I did not have noon duty yesterday). I definitely need a break because of all the behavior problems in my class. And, the thing is, another special from a different teacher got cancelled on Friday so my only break is at lunch (again, no noon duty, thankfully).
Plus, I have had so many students gone that I am constantly preparing work to go home or trying to get students caught up. And, we are testing this week. It is not fun. My life does not get any easier when one of my students does not take their medicine, leaving me to deal with constant disruptions.
I finally decided to call my mom and tell her that I am coming home this weekend with the intention of taking Monday off. I really wanted to take Friday off but there are so many teachers gone that day that I was afraid that I would not get a sub. Plus, even though I hate Mondays like most people, I also like them because we have two specials on Monday and one of them is very long so I get a very long break in which I can get a lot done. Since it is the end of the year though, I really do not have that much that needs to be done.
I think the break will be good for me. It is giving me something to look forward to so hopefully this week will go faster. Plus, with the day off next week, it will make next week shorter. And, it is giving me a break, just like the Samaritans suggested for me a couple weeks ago.
I thought I would be happy today. I wrote yesterday how awful this week was but since it is now Christmas vacation, I thought my anxiety and depression would take a break too. But when I woke up last night and could not fall back asleep, I knew my problems were continuing.
I have been looking forward to Christmas break for several weeks. It is no secret that I have a very difficult group of students and that this has not been a great year. So that is what I was thinking about in the middle of the night last night. I do not know how I am going to make it through the next half year. And I am also debating about whether I want to come back next year.
And I guess it has been on my mind a lot today as well. That and the fact that I was so lonely today. The only person I talked to today was the person at the gas station. It was such a long and lonely day. But the thing is, I am supposed to go home tomorrow and I am not even looking forward to it.
I wanted to cut tonight but I managed to talk myself out of it and just used a marker to draw lines on my wrist. I was unable to participate in the Lines Project because as a teacher of third and fourth grade, I cannot be promoting self injury. So I guess I killed two birds with one stone.
I just do not understand why I feel so depressed when I should be happy. I have every right to be.
Teachers are definitely underpaid. I arrive at school everyday between 7:15-7:20. School actually starts at eight and teachers are required to arrive fifteen minutes before. Teachers are required to stay until four o’clock but I stay later than that every day trying to get papers graded and getting things ready for the next day.
I do not get a thirty minute lunch break. On days when it is my turn to do lunch duty, I get to work through my lunch. Other than a short break at lunch, I do not get much more than thirty minutes of prep a day when my students are at specials. There are days when specials get cancelled and then I do not get any prep time at all.
Often, I take work home with me. Even with good time management, I cannot get my lesson plans done. Every night, my backpack is stuffed with textbooks and students’ assignments.
I go into the school often on weekends. I have to get assignments copied and the classroom organized.
A teacher is definitely not paid enough. And to make matters worse, I teach two different elementary classes. I have double the work. Because even though I only have a total of fifteen students in the two classes, I still have to have two sets of lesson plans and assignments and centers.
In my tiredness, I did not realize this morning that I accidently slipped on my crocs instead of my dress shoes this morning. I only realized what I had done when I had arrived at school. I talked to another teacher and discovered that the administrators do not really care what is on our feet. So I started the day off comfortable.
The morning was good because my students had two specials first thing in the morning so I was able to get my lesson plans almost completed. I also accomplished a lot which made me feel good since this week I have noon duty and I have little time to get things done.
Throughout the day (and it was a short day due to a teacher’s inservice) the papers that needed grading piled up. Then, there was the inservice that prevented me from getting the papers graded. Even though inservices are supposed to be over at four, they never end on time. And what really bugs me is that usually, teachers are required to stay until four every day. That gives us at least thirty minutes to get papers graded and do things in the classroom. That does not happen on inservice days unless a teacher wants to stay later.
When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher hated teachers that complained about inservices being a waste of time. But what if it is true? I mean, I do not feel that I benefited from much that was discussed today.
And now, I have additional stress due to all the papers that did not get graded as well as all the other projects that did not get accomplished because I did not feel like staying extremely late to do them.
What started off as a decent day quickly turned the other way.