Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 17 2012

No Clearer Mirror

On Wednesday, May 2nd, someone very important to me mentioned that I hate my job casually in conversation, as if this was a known and well-established piece of knowledge between us. I stopped her: “… Wait. I hate my job?” While I try not to make a habit of defining my reality based on what my friends think, and while I do appreciate the respect most of the other people in my life have given me by not necessarily assuming my constant frustration means I hate what I do… I’ve learned and re-learned recently that no matter how much self-reflection you do, at times there’s no clearer mirror to be found than the words of another person.

Why was it so hard for me to decide to stop teaching? Everyone (TFA or no) should be put on administrative leave at the end of their second year, just to see if they’re really meant to stay or go (hint: if you find yourself practically hoping to get fired, it’s a good clue that you’re in the wrong place).

As whiny as I get sometimes (read: last post), I’m truly giddily excited for the freedom this decision brings. I think, too, that at least half of this excitement comes from the very solid feeling I have that I’m finally doing the right thing.

The other half is the prospect of fulfilling what I’ve said for years is my goal in life, which is simply this: to work my butt off trying to make things better.

10 Responses

  1. Cal

    Um, the fact that you got put on administrative leave is a really, really good sign that you shouldn’t be a teacher.

    And have you ever been diagnosed as manic or bipolar or one of those weird disorders. Because honest to god, you strike me as a trainwreck waiting to happen.

    Your last four posts are deeply weird.

    • Wess

      Um, actually, no, it’s not. But thanks.

      … And your MOM is deeply weird.

      • Golden Apple

        Yay you for defending yourself. Cyber bullies love to hide behind the internet.

  2. Meg

    Clearly you’ve never taught a day in your life, and perhaps have never even set foot inside a middle or high school. And if you think its so weird, don’t read it.

  3. Hey – before you stop teaching I would see what it would be like in primary or intermediate grade. I was bumped after my second year of teaching middle school to a primary position purely because they had to shift everyone around – it was the best thing that ever happened to me even though at first I really didn’t want to go! I love teaching primary – I was meant to be a primary teacher. I was OK at middle school but primary is definitely for me!!!

  4. Cal

    That’s fighting back? Really?

    And yes, being put on administrative leave is a bad sign. As is waiting to learn if you’ll be fired for cause.

    Just four or five posts ago, you were going on about how you excited you were. Now, you hate your job. Of course, THEN you were lying. NOW you are telling the truth. The scales have fallen!

    In any event, you should change your blog name. You called it “Drinking” the Koolaid because you were still doing it, still “in the process”, right?

    So I guess you should change it to “Urping the Koolaid Right Back Up.”

    • T.Enwood

      Cal, you’re not a teacher, and your comment is rude. I could understand the first comment as free expression on an open blog, however, this comment is a direct attack on Wess and inappropriate.

      Why did you write this comment?

    • Wess

      You’re so right. That just doesn’t have the same ring, though!

      Cal, you’ve been reading long enough to know I’ve never denied the crazy up-and-down nature of this blog. However, you also know me well enough to know the only thing I’m trying to do with this blog is be honest.

      You don’t have to be bipolar or lying to feel differently than you did before. FYI.

    • T.Enwood

      All bark.

  5. Ms. Math

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