Every school year I find it more and more difficult to say goodbye to summer and head back to the classroom. Let me just say that I LOVE teaching. I truly do. I LOVE my content area. I have great colleagues both in my building and in my subject area. I work in a great school district.
But...I love my own FAMILY more and I am tired of fighting this constant battle between what I want to do and what I need to do.
Every time I think about leaving the classroom, panic sets in. What else would I do? What about retirement? What about childcare? and the list goes on and on.
Every Sunday night/Monday morning I feel a heavy, physical weight of anxiety about the week to come. Why am I doing this? Is it really worth it? How much longer can I do this? If this is where I'm supposed to be, why does it feel so oppressive? Why do I have so much doubt? Will it ever get better?
By Tuesday/Wednesday, I'm usually okay again. But, that only gives me 3-5 days of peace. It is definitely taking its toll.
And...Can I just say that we're only 5 weeks in with like 31 to go. Not good.
I don't even want to list the pros and cons of teaching versus doing something else because again, we're only 5 weeks in and that will just make things a gazillion times worse.
So let me just list my MAJOR issues.
1--Grading. There has to be a better system. 11 years of experience and I still cart around a bag of papers to grade and procrastinate working on them. I will say I am getting better in this area...a few a day, etc. But, it is never ending.
2--Grocery Shopping for Foods Labs. Literally 3-4 trips/week sometimes. Late at night after my littles are in bed. Ugh.
3--Being in a non-core area. Let's be honest. PD is not really directed at electives. Singletons are just kind of expected to figure it out for themselves. 90 minutes every week completely wasted on an initiative that we are required to do. How about giving me those 90 minutes to do something productive and relevant. I try to make the best of it, but really.
4--Lesson Plans. Don't get me wrong. I love to plan creative, innovative lessons. I really do, but 45 minutes of planning every day just doesn't get the job done and I just can't function on less than 6 hours of sleep.
5--Working like a dog with little acknowledgement. Story of my career. Thank goodness I'm Type A and students are grateful and excited, because otherwise it would not be worth it.
6--The avalanche of mandates, reforms, initiatives, common core implementation, teacher evaluation proposals, and revolving administrators. Couldn't we all just get it together already?
7--All the "other stuff." Please tell me why it is necessary for teachers to do hall and parking lot duty when there are two counselors, three administrators, and a dozen associates who could just as easily do it. It is most definitely the best use of my precious time.
So why do I keep doing it?
I'm not in a great place to answer that today. I do know that my dream job would be to teach part-time. Maybe then I could actually spend some time with my husband on a weeknight and look forward to Mondays a little more.