I know that I need to do something restorative--I know this with my mind, but my body disagrees. I feel empty and withdrawn.
I'm so tired.
I'm feeling beaten down. I'm not performing at my best because I don't have enough left to give. Then, I feel crappy about doing a crappy job. Then, I have to face the consequences of doing a crappy job.
A student asked me today, "do you ever smile?"
I'm on a tailspin right now. What am I doing? What's it all for? I try to hold high standards, and then I lose kids along the way. I try to offer supports everywhere necessary, and then I burn myself out. I build and rely on routine to make my job easier, to make class run smoother, and to have clear expectations, but youth (and I) get bored of the monotony. I try to mix it up and do something new, and then I face revolt and confusion and spend way too much time shopping for materials, managing materials, and wondering what to do with the aftermath of the chaos.
In my first year, I faced more hardships but had more optimism. Now, at the end of my fourth year, I wonder where I'm going with all this. I want to teach well, and I teach better now than I did back then, but I want to teach even better. That said, I don't want to work this hard anymore. I work all day Sunday and many evenings until 11pm--and those are the easier hours. The school day itself feels ridden with lost battles.
I love my kids. So much. I want them to have a better teacher than me. I want to be better. I'm not going to get better at this rate... I'm only becoming bitter.
This is why I'm starting a new chapter. I'm leaving not with my tail between my legs, but with my head held high. I'm re-sparking my curiosity and am in search of a little more optimism.