Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Damaged

This year I feel completely competent. My kids are almost always extremely well behaved. I've improved my Reading instruction so much that it is helping in every subject. I've done a much better job with organization.

This year I like my team--in some ways--even better than my team last year. We all have similar styles and philosophies. We laugh together a lot. We help each other.

This year I feel pretty good towards administration. They seem helpful and have left me alone--which I appreciate because I can only imagine what the former principal told them about me.

Yet, I have some serious self-confidence issues when it comes to teaching which is pretty strange for me because I am generally a confident (some might even say overly confident) person. I don't know what to do about it either. I have this label somewhere in my head that I am a bad teacher and as much as I try not to go there I am always looking for evidence to support that belief. Whenever I can't think of something from my present situation, I tend to try to draw on things from last year. I know this is not a healthy way to think and that it has no benefit for myself or my students but I can't seem to stop thinking this way.

In my dark moments in teaching, every time a transition doesn't go the way I want it to and every time a lesson isn't exactly as I intended it to be I feel like it is because there is something wrong with me as a teacher. It doesn't even matter that things are going as well as they are because I have this feeling that won't go away.

I hate that I am so sensitive that I am bearing major wounds from all the events of last year, but I may as well acknowledge them because I know they are there.

One of my old fifth grade teammates asked me if I would come back next year. I told her that I didn't know and honestly I am not thinking seriously about plans for next year until after Christmas, but I feel like going to fifth grade or going to Middle School might be the only way to address some of my demons. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was incapable of doing the things I wanted to (teaching in fifth grade or Middle School). I could easily do two years in third grade because it would be nice to not have to move everything again or to readjust again, but if I don't move I think I will always wonder if it really is true that I can't.

1 comment:

Mr. D said...

I understand the desire to prove to yourself that you're capable of doing something you struggled with before, and blaming yourself for whatever went wrong in your old school. So many of us are taught or just decide for ourselves that everything that goes wrong in the classroom and at our schools is our fault. It's just not true. You don't need to put yourself in a terrible situation just so that some part of you will feel vindicated. When you're passionate about this work, it's easy to make yourself believe that it's never supposed to be easy, that it should always be a struggle where you're just trying to stay afloat. But it doesn't have to be that way! It sounds like you're doing great things with your current students, things others said couldn't be done. Isn't that worth continuing? What about the students at this school you would leave behind? As I'm sure you know, it's not easy to leave your students even if you don't like the school or its leadership.