February 17, 2015

Dear Passion, Where are YOU?


I'm sleep deprived; so please excuse any over-emotional ramblings. This post will likely be a cross between vent and search for advice. I don't have many commenters lately, but I'd love some feedback on this one.

I'm struggling.

I think I hate teaching.

This is my 14th year as an elementary teacher, and 4th year teaching inclusion. For those of you that aren't familiar, inclusion is the mixing of students with special needs in the general education classroom.   Towards the end of last year, I had a lot of feelings of restlessness. I even toyed with applying for a reading coach position (which I have experience in), but decided with the baby, that would be too much change. Besides, being on an 10 week maternity leave doesn't exactly scream "hire me."

I knew going back to work would be rough, but I guess I underestimated it. All day, every day, all I can think about is getting out of there. Y'all, I feel like I'm in prison. I'm so ashamed to say that. I have truly loved teaching for 13 years. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I've been passionate about my job. I've loved those kids with everything I had and taught to my absolute best ability.  But not this year. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I feel preoccupied. I feel like I'm not doing anything really except running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

And part of it is the special ed situation. I'm probably going straight to hell for saying this, but y'all, I just can't and don't want to deal with it anymore. The teacher that is supposed to come work with me is terrible. She either doesn't show up or sits on her butt. So basically I have no support. And truth time, so much attention is taken away from the "average" child. I feel like I'm just failing in all areas. I'm stretched too thin. The regular classroom is NOT the best place for all children, and while I'm on my way to the fiery place, WHY DO THEIR NEEDS COME FIRST? Doesn't Average Johnny at the back table deserve just as much of my attention as the special needs child? Does he deserve to be challenged and nurtured by his teacher just like all the other kids? I hate to tell everyone this, but with ONE teacher and another WARM ADULT BODY all the kids' needs are not being met.

And every night I take this information home with me. The information that i have failed. Yet again. And that is how I've developed hate for my job. So every day I spend wishing for 3, so I can hurry off to coaching and then go home to my baby. Every night I spend remembered all the ways I failed, dreading for the morning to come and praying for the weekend to hurry.

And running. Frankly, I'm not too fired up about running these days, either. It's dull. The workouts. The treadmill. The dark track. Nothing really excites me. I really just run for Boston, and not wanting to embarrass myself there, wanting to run a decent time, trying to show the world that there IS running life after baby.

But really, who cares? I used to be so obsessed with the mileage, the grind, the training. And now, I can barely tell you what I ran yesterday. Most days I follow my coach's plan. Some days I do more, some days I do less. Sometimes I scramble the schedule to fit my needs. But yeah, same workouts, different variation. Week after blasted week. I've got a goal half marathon this weekend, and I really couldn't give two craps about it except that a lot of girls I know will be running and I really don't want to look like a complete bum.

Track practice kicked off this week, and it was a tumultuous start. The new other head coach couldn't come… all week. It was me and the ENTIRE TEAM all week. The chaos of it all nearly made me lose my mind. However, I do think it set the stage for who might be The Boss from here on out. LOL. And I will say that track is one of the few things I get excited about every day, but I'm still not as obsessed as I have been in previous years.

Stay at Home Moms, I hate you. I want to be you. I feel like I am missing so much of Savannah's life by working. I just miss her so much each day. It's all I can think about.

And that is what motherhood is- a love beyond measure that trumps all other feelings.

Advice from other working moms is truly welcomed. Advice from other teachers is truly welcomed.


5 comments:

  1. I'm right where you are. And, I think its ok to be here, too.

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  2. I can relate to your mommy guilt. I suffer from it as well. Every day I feel like a terrible mother for leaving him and missing out. I keep telling myself that I'm being a good example of work ethic, which is something that has been frustrating me in the classroom with my students {their lack of}. I don't know how you do it all! All I can say is that if you are overwhelmed to maybe let go of some responsibilities that you don't necessarily have to do even though you love doing them. Maybe you should even think of changing positions within the school if the opportunity arises. Change is obviously not easy, but it might be just what you need. What I don't do enough of is make time for myself and only myself. While I love Landry and love doing things with him and being his mommy, I sometimes feel like I need a break to just be me and not mommy. Just a day out usually does me tons of good! Praying for you! Being a working mom is no fun sometimes! Hang in there! Things are a million times easier now that Landry is a little bit older versus when he was Savannah's age.

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  3. It could be the time of year...

    There are periods on the year when things are just hard to do! Winter can do that to you , or even at the end of a longer than normal block of hard training it can be hard to get out there and push through one last week... I coach at the Univercity here and that is the closest I get to teaching, but I know I have to put on a smile and take the boys (and girls) out for a run (easy hills or track).

    How to get you passion back? that isn't easy, but I oftern wish I had studied to be a teacher I love the idea of the long holidays and being a full time athlete!

    Now I don't have kids of my own, so the students are my kids and I never have to worry about them for more than an hour or 2... I understand having your own children is a 24 hour a day job for 20+ years, so enbrace the time with the other kids they will teach you what works in bringing up your child!

    Good Luck

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  4. Aw, honey. I hope you find your happy again!

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  5. Not a working mom, but as I tell all my new mom friends, when it feels hard, do not forget that human rights activists believe that sleep deprivation is *torture*. You are experiencing conditions that are designed to distort your world view in an extreme way.

    OF COURSE YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED. You should. But, this too, shall pass.

    That being said, from the outsider's perspective, I do think that the education system, and some other non-profit environments as well, tend to have a culture of guilt that can be toxic or just result in burn-out faster than other work environments. Not surprisingly, these environments are staffed by more women than men, and women, unfortunately, are often subject to all sorts of societal pressure to be "caregivers" at the expense of caring for themselves.

    If you work for a "cause" there is *always* more you can do. The cause you are working for is undeniably noble and you are surrounded by other fervent believers (or worse yet, burnouts who haven't left, who the believers openly judge). The constant conflict between self-care, families, friends, and working for the cause can absolutely destroy good people.

    There are many ways to be a good person. For some people, they need to work at something where they feel they are making the world a better place every day.

    But, I believe we can all do our part to be good people. For some, depending on their non-work-life structure, working for a cause professionally may not make sense. Sometimes the conflicts between the "cause" and living a good life are just too difficult to manage.

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