Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's?

On New Year's Eve, we moved from Italy to Spain in the champagne department, so I guess the next step would have been port.  Yeah, I stole that phrase.  From K, at my dinner party.

Some of my favorite people from across these fine states were in my apartment that evening.  It's too small for us all to sit in the same room, so a sampling of my people got cross-pollinated from the necessary seating separation ... awesome.

I haven't written in some time.  The new year always makes me feel like I'm in a little bit of a funk, and this year hasn't been any different.  I resolved to finish what I start rather than put a task down midway: no more picking up a dish from the dishwasher and letting it hit the counter before the cabinet.  No more starting a progress report and then letting it hit the 'to finish' pile.  It's working!  My room is cleaner, my laundry is put away, I managed to lesson plan for a fair bit of the evening.

Still, there is  bit of dread in me for tomorrow.  I want that to go away.  It isn't that I don't love my students, I do.  And I did much of my paperwork before the break, so while I have massive amounts of mailings to do in the next week, I shouldn't have this knot in my chest.  "We Bought A Zoo" released all the tension of the holidays for an evening or two; a few days with a cousin in Manassas put a smile on my face; a New Year's Eve party gave me lots to laugh about.  It's just... now, I feel a little like glass, and I want to feel more like sunshine.

I am going to write to get my positivity back.  These are the things I love about my life right now:

One of my favorite people from college lives around the corner.  We spent the evening banagramming, monopolying, and writing plans.

I live three hours from the greatest town on earth (Charlottesville) and dinner parties with rabbit, brothers, and dreams of a farm.

One of my students told me she wanted to go to Harvard.

K smiled and wrote a complete paragraph before the break.  She usually shouts at me a lot.

The paperwork has a purpose.  Even if it's redundant, I have to remember that there was a reason we were asked to do that, so I have to try.

If they haven't noticed that I haven't been perfect so far, then they may give me a little leeway.

Keep moving forward.

I have friends I trust in times of crisis AND times of joy.

The ball of stress isn't gone yet.  I'm really nervous about tomorrow.  I'm nowhere near the organizational whiz kid I need to be.  I'm dreading someone finding out I'm a phony.  Oh.

I guess that's the meat of it: I came into this year thinking I could change the world in a few months, believing that I was good enough -- because I think through things and try hard -- that I, unprepared, was better than other teachers.  That's just not true.  I'm so young as a teacher.  I do things like not realize that there's a ten year old faking being a high school student in my class, I enter entire IEPs without realizing which radio buttons I have to hit before I can save and therefore have late paperwork, and then there's the progress reports I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be copying and sending home... I answer my own questions, I repeat myself, I lose my patience.

This is going to be a long slog.  It's about more than enthusiasm.  I think I'm dreading tomorrow because I know I'm not good enough and being confronted with that... well, it'll get better.  I can work on the paperwork, I can fix my tendency to answer my own questions.  I can remind myself to take deep breaths.  I have the reflective capacity to look at problems as they come and fix them; maybe I'm just overwhelmed because it's been so long since I was in class that I can't break the manifold things wrong with me as a teacher into fixable pieces.  Maybe tomorrow I'll find the fixable stuff again.

If not, I'll walk the AT in silence for a few days over spring break and it'll come to me then.

Here's to writing some time before then, and here's to your year being a peaceful, friendly one.

1 comment:

  1. I read your reflections and think you are being too hard on yourself. At the same time, I know that I have many of the same perfectionist tendencies and don't cut myself enough slack at times. May the new year help us both to relax a bit and realize that it's okay and sometimes even good to be human.