I’ve totally lost mojo at work and I’ve become a completely mediocre teacher. I just can’t seem to pull it together enough to give a fuck. Most of the day I get by, but my last class is a tough mixture of kids and they need me to be stalwart in my consistency which requires lots of energy and attention. Instead I end up following them on their random tangents and losing 10 minutes waxing philosophical or meandering down memory lane. We are falling severely behind and I’m panicking about what to cut, because there is no way we can finish it all. I feel like such a failure walking away from work every day. It’s really starting to get me down.
There are other things about work that suck right now. My VP is basically gaslighting me, which is infuriating. I don’t think it’s personal, or even purposeful, it’s just that denying that things she said or did actually happened is her way of avoiding taking personal responsibility. I’m really hoping our new principal can come in and deal with this, because I basically said I won’t teach English Language Development (or administer the CELDT test, or be involved in the RFEPing processes, or have anything else to do with ELD unless she can provide me with a formal description of what that position entails (I know, my expectations are so high!) They will be FUCKED if I step down from the position next year, so I’m confident the new principal will step up and be a professional about it. It’s not his style to play mind games and hide behind the district office like my current VP. Still, it has been infuriating to deal with.
There are also a lot of long time staff leaving at the end of this year. It’s going to be weird without them, and hearing about their new plans is a reminder that I abandoned my own plans to look for a new job. Three of them are leaving the area, not just our school, because things have become so untenable in this area for people making a teacher’s salary. (This actually brings up a whole other hosts of feelings for me about how I don’t feel the negatives of living here outweigh the positives, but that is for another post). The other, my good friend, is leaving to teach at a high school. We talked a lot about positions at the high school level earlier this year, when I was still on that trajectory. I knew this was probably coming, and I am very happy for her, but it’s hard not to see her so excited for a new opportunity when I didn’t even end up really looking for one. I don’t regret my decision (I could still apply for jobs if I changed my mind), but I am sad that I need to take at least one more year to get my shit together at home and at work. I just wish I weren’t always struggling so much. And honestly, I feel so shitty about myself as a teacher right now I could NEVER sell myself to someone effectively, let alone have the self-confidence to even apply. It’s definitely not the year for me to be looking for another job.
I know that things are hard right now at home and that is probably why I’m struggling so much at school. I get it. But it’s still hard. And there are so many days left, so many afternoons where I have to walk away feeling like the most ineffectual teaching on the planet, wondering how I could still suck this much at classroom management after 12 FUCKING YEARS of teaching.
31 teaching days left.
25+ years to go.