Cross-posting from facebook. It seemed it might be useful to have this up in an easily-retrieved space.

Long post, abundant self-absorbed reflection, and minimal editing. Read at your own risk!

Took a “sick day” today from the class I have been enjoying. Drinking LOTS of water and resting in my quiet room and it seems to be helping. But of course not getting a lot done. Next week maybe I’ll have the time and brainpower to get back to “vacation.” Right now, though, I am fretting over my inability to concentrate on the texts I need to read (and the videos I will have to watch to catch up before the final class starts at 8 tomorrow morning).

I KNOW there is a confluence of issues (stress, grief, overwhelm at all I need to do) that are just taking me out, and

I KNOW that when my body screams at me it’s in my best interest to listen, and I KNOW that the deadlines, goals, and tasks this summer are only my own and no one else knows (or cares), and

I KNOW that healing as well as recovering from the school year takes time, but…

Every time I see a headline from one of the educational organizations that talks about how many teachers are considering leaving the profession I think “that’s me,” and

Every time another one of the subscriptions for those organizations comes up for renewal I debate if I should, and

Every time I hear people talking about how much better children’s schools and teachers could have been in the last 18 months, then:

Is it time for me to take a step back, consider my options, and just focus on getting my own life in order?

It has been ten years since I got my master’s, and 8 years since the fire. I haven’t yet taken an actual break to get the house and yard back together (and still haven’t finished sorting through boxes from the fire). And the commotion of the last few years with my increasing health and mobility issues kept setting me back. And then covid…

You just have to wonder sometimes whether you’ve chosen the right path: for a teacher, taking extended time off is nearly impossible – even with me working from home last school year I was still putting in 10-12 hour days for a great deal of the year, and even on weekends and days I had to focus on medical care for a family member I spent at least 4 hours on school-related tasks. I haven’t had “time off” except the week between having chromebooks turned in and the death of my brother in law. And I was so tired that week…

What kept me going this past year was noticing that I could reach students (even through virtual sessions) and figure out what they needed in the extremely rare tutoring session or 2-3 reading benchmarks.

What kept me going was thinking about “those kids” who get under a teacher’s skin early in the year and then grow and bloom in beautiful ways by the time summer comes around, and seeing it happen even with remote learning.

What kept me going was a hotpad one student made me one year that I put my hot cereal bowl on in the morning, and the pictures on the wall that others have drawn, and the little notes I found sometimes when going through boxes looking for a specific book…

…kids are amazing. They have an unlimited capacity to learn, and to love, and it is always a privilege to work with them.

As long as I can write a post like the one above, I think teaching’s still the right path for me.


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