Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 05 2010

Just for the record

I hate this. I say so plainly, literally, with the least emotion possible and with no reaction-gauging or attention-seeking. Simply put, there are some things that I detest, and one of those things is my current existence. I don’t want to do what I’m doing. I don’t want to teach high school, I don’t want to teach math. I don’t want to be anybody to these kids. I don’t WANT to change their lives. I don’t want to wake up feeling dead anymore. I don’t want to be ripped to shreds by every day. I don’t want to go to Houston, I don’t want to teach engineering, I don’t want to help with the band, I don’t want to make any  more copies in that awful copy room. I don’t want to wake up every morning and head off to do all of these things I don’t want to do. I hate riding the bus to school. I hate waiting at the bus stop after school, feeling ripped open. I hate having to smile at my kids when I feel like crying, when I feel like screaming and throwing my clipboard across the room and storming out and never coming back. I HATE being patient. I haaate this.

It’s a lot of hatred for one morning, I know. I wonder, really, REALLY, how many other corps members hate teaching this much. I feel very alone. I still, STILL feel like everyone else can see something about this that I can’t see. As if they all know it’s all going to be over in a month or something and I just haven’t heard yet.

I hate hating my life. I’m so DONE with this feeling of “just get up and try again.” I feel beaten. I feel absolutely beaten down by every day, a limp dead thing ping-ponged between motivation and despair. I only write because I can’t believe I’m still going to school today with this rotten rock inside me, and I fear that someday I’ll look back on this time and not understand how truly awful this is.
I just want to cry and be done. I want to turn around, go home, and use this entire day to cry. Saturday night I cried for hours after I freaked out again. Last night I was sobbing from my conversation in the office at seven all the way out to the bus stop, all the way home on the bus, all the way through my hot cocoa, and into bed.
Tomorrow I have a sub coming and I’m technically supposed to show up and teach anyway, but I don’t want to. I don’t feel like seeing my B day kids again. Ever.
I’m just so tired of getting back up again. I’m tired of just pushing through. I’m tired of just living through one more day. I’m tired of this.

I know I should be thinking different thoughts on my way to school. I know the power of thinking and self-talk; I know that I’m shooting myself in the foot, going into today letting this attitude bubble up. But it takes a lot of inertia, which I don’t have, to suck it up and take it. Again.

*** addendum***

All I’ve done, for almost seven weeks, is hit rock bottom. Again and again and again. I get ripped apart—then, still searing, I sew myself back together, because I have to. Some days I do a half-ass job and leave bits hanging out or in the wrong place. But I tell you what, some days I pour myself into the rebuilding, sealing and tightening and doing it right. I put myself back together, stronger, ready to take it. And then, somehow, I end up flattened again. Flatter, and for longer. Each time I hit, it takes more juice before I start clawing again.

All I want to do is get better. All I want to do is to find myself on the right track; to see some pinprick at the end of the tunnel, to see evidence of growth. Instead, I see deterioration and disillusionment. Some things look like improvement; yup, I wrote a unit assessment and a unit plan this weekend. Great, right? Backwards planning! … too bad making that one deadline meant a) not turning in my lesson plans to my school for the third week in a row, b) not finishing grades for progress reports, c) not having a lesson for Monday until midnight, d) not having a lesson for today at all, e) not doing laundry or grocery shopping, and f) not sleeping. All of my “improvements” are just evidence of me dropping the ball in seventeen other areas. When you zoom out, the trend you see is me being able to get a handle on less and less as time goes on.

I guess it’d just be nice to figure out WHAT I could do to make my life better. What would a realistic seventh week of teaching look like that wouldn’t make me want to take my skin off with sandpaper?

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High School

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“The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason you held on so long.” - John Maxwell


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