This season, 2nd quarter, has been an interesting time for me. I have realized that in 8 and 1/2 school days I will be 75% of the way through my Teach For America commitment. Most people in my life know already that I will not be returning after this year. As hard as this job is, it is not because of the kids, the broken school system, or anything along those lines. In the simplest words – I just do not enjoy being an elementary teacher. I’ve learned I love a lot about teaching. More than anything, I do love my kids even on their worst days. But if I’m not going to be a High School Broadcast Teacher one day, then I really don’t think I want to teach at all.
So a few things have been on my mind constantly this last quarter.
1.) Is my push to be the best teacher I can be still happening? Or am I subconsciously letting my development stay at status quo because I know that in 5 months I will be done with this job?
2.) How can I give my best daily as a Reading, Science, and Social Studies teacher and not just a Math teacher? (I love teaching Math, the other 3, not so much…)
3.) I am starting to freak out a little inside knowing that I have to completely start over the job searching process. Yes, I realize this is completely my own doing and that I could have this job if I wanted it next year until I got a new job. But I am not willing to start a new year as a teacher, only to leave in the middle of it. That is the whole reason these kids have trust issues and why the achievement gap exists. Regardless, job searching is stressful.
4.) My kids need a break just like I do. Christmas break always seems to come at the perfect time. The teachers, including myself, are tired. The kids are tired. We need time to revamp and be away from each other. The beauty of coming back from Christmas break is that I can readjust multiple things in my classroom if I desire because of the simple fact that I will have to re-teach all my procedures and expectations anyways!
5.) After all these Sundays…..they still are freaking hard!
6.) I want to thoroughly enjoy my Christmas break this year, as well as be productive. Last year, it was 2 weeks of breathing, sitting, and trying to stay as distracted as possible. Being a 2nd year gives so much more freedom and life to breaks from school. I look forward to doing the things I love most with the people I love most over break.
To the 1st years: If you’re still struggling, stay hopeful. Everything really DOES get better after Christmas break.