This week I’ve been in a really weird equilibrium state. I’m not working as much, I’m sleeping a lot more, and I’m just… calm. Restful. Balanced. … lazy.
It’s a nice change from doing the whole chicken-with-its-head-cut-off thing, but it’s not really helping my kids any.
Don’t know if I’ve said this here yet, but I’m officially staying a third year at my school. I just finished an application to start work on a Master’s (what?!?) in January, and even though I know that’s going to mean even less time for, you know, teaching, I’m jazzed to be a student again.
(side note: it may be shallow or silly or lame, but I’m incredibly motivated by grades. All the time I’ve spent wondering “WHY was I so on top of it in college and WHY do I now feel so unmotivated in comparison?” has brought me to the conclusion that no, I’m not just inherently selfish, and no, I’m not just inherently bad at teaching–it has more to do with the type of success I see, the type of feedback I get, the way I see myself reflected in my work. I’m task-oriented. The thought of being graded, rated on a scale or rubric (you know, like that TAL rubric thing we used to have at Institute way back when? Where did that go?), is so malleable and controllable and straightforward–especially compared to the mess of the classroom with all of its zillion variables and trillion causes and millions of places to improve. It’s the difference between excelling at Guitar Hero or Laser Tag. In space. )
I just want to be GOOD. SO badly. I want to be amazing, I want my kids to drop jaws, I want to be TFAmous and be the first ever HS Math CM to win Sue Lehmann. I want heads to turn when people walk by my classroom. I want to have a reputation with kids as a ‘good teacher.’ I want to feel the high of being “with it” and to feel used to executing great lessons every single day. I want to never question my expectations of kids, never say anything to a kid that I regret later, never wonder what today could have been if I’d only had time to plan it better. I want to feel on top of my job, like I’ve got things pretty much under control. I want to do EXTRA! I want to push my kids BEYOND where they’re expected to be, to push them to the TOP of their class, to really get at their heartstrings and change something in them permanently. There would be nothing like the high I could get every single day if I were really, truly, unquestionably REALLY GOOD at teaching. … Which, I guess, is why I can’t leave.
If someone could just paint me a yellow brick road that would lead to that place, I promise, I PROMISE I’d work harder than ANYbody to get there. I’d do whatever it takes. I’d start now and bust my ass and LOVE EVERY MINUTE of it. I know I absolutely have enough grit and will and fire and soul to make it happen–if only I knew the way and could just buckle down and GO. The backwards-planned paths I keep trying to build-as-I-go for myself are winding in circles and forking and disappearing under my feet, and I’m starting to think I’ll never get there if I don’t start booking it along a directional shortest-path-between-two-points.