Sorry readers. This will be a words only post. I usually fancify my posts with pictures and colors and links, but I just wanted to say how much I needed this fall break.
I don't think I realized how burned out I was. There I was thinking I was on top of everything and then something would happen and I would crash and burn. I would get discouraged and think to myself, "Shouldn't this get easier?" After all I am in my eighth year of teaching so I should be a veteran by now, right?
As a teacher, I feel like a super hero sometimes. Not because I feel invincible or have super human strength, but because sometimes I feel that when I am weak, or discouraged, I don't have the luxury of showing it. I'm supposed to have all the answers and know everything and be on my game all the time. These kids are counting on me. Teachers don't like to ask for help. We want to do it ourselves. Or is that just me?
It's hard for me to remember how I was my first year of teaching. I made lots of mistakes and tried to look like I knew what I was doing. I didn't. I did what all first year teachers did: survive.
But looking back, I envy that naivety. I wasn't yet beat down by the pressure of testing and teaching struggles and people looking down on my profession. A question I ask myself every year: Am I making a difference? Are these kids better off; are they well enough equipped?
I try to tell myself yes. But the nagging voice in my head is saying that I always need to get better.
And that's why I've been feeling so stressed. Because it's hard. Every year.
But this break helped me recharge, refocus, and remember why I chose this profession. Why I love what I do. I love teaching. I love kids. Today was such a good day. I was excited about what I was teaching and all the kids were engaged (for the most part) and on task. I got most of what I wanted to teach done today, which fellow teachers know makes that a pretty good day when you actually teach what you planned (yea!).
And the hugs. Oh those sweet hugs. And the "Ms. Kang guess what" or "Ms. Kang I did this.."
Or "I read a lot over the break." Or when they make connections in their learning. Melts my heart every time.
It's true when they say teaching is really really tough. But the rewards are tenfold.
I'll never forget an email I got from a parent thanking me for teaching his daughter and telling me that all my hard work and diligence would continue to bless her and those around her for a lifetime to come. That's powerful. That's super hero stuff.
So there will be times when I'll be superman with my kryptonite. Or like the Hulk when I'm frustrated. But it's days like this that I feel like I can take on the world. At least my classroom world.