I am this (see above) no more.
This may seem like a lazy post but I wanted to post the responses I received from my previous entry. They are reminders for me and for anyone that:
- Other teachers get the blues, too.
- Getting the teaching blues doesn’t mean you’re a bad teacher.
- When you reach out with honesty, people will respond to you with honesty and help you.
From Eileen of Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas:
Sorry to see you going through this distress. Sometimes change comes slowly, but now you might be open to new opportunities. I write two blogs (one a serious one on education, and the other a whimsical blog on metaphysics–an outside interest of mine, that I want to learn more about). One reason I started blogging is I never have time to write either (and I hope to write some books as well as magazine articles). I just started an English-language writers’ group in my city, which meets roughly once a month. By blogging, and the need to post (at least once a week during school, and hopefully more) I’m hoping THAT will force me to figure out how to fit REGULAR writing into my schedule. Maybe the blog can help you do that, too?
From Repairman of Repairkit:
Malaise and mild depression hits all of us at various points. Being male, I’m not sure if my experience is relevant, but a supportive network of friends — even one good one — will often get us over the period of distress. And nothing helps like a loving “significant other.”
Have you defined (to yourself, at least) what you want to do, where you see yourself in five, ten years? Are you happy? Set some big goals. People founder without big goals.
Also, ambivalence, having contradictory feelings about the same thing, isn’t exactly uncommon. Bear with it! Hoping the sun shines for you!
From Jose of The Jose Vilson:
First off, let me say that I decided not to read the comments to this post. After all, it’s only now that NYC teachers like myself are getting back into the hang of things with teaching. However, after reading this post, I had a couple of thoughts:
1) Being yourself is such a weird concept. On the one end, it’s what helps you get through the struggles and complexities of being in the classroom. However it also makes us feel disingenuous about the role we play in front of the kids. That’s why much of what we do is acting. Even when we have rough patches, we’re supposed to act apart from ourselves in a sense.
2) Teaching would be great if it wasn’t for all the administrative stuff. I hate having to do all that paperwork, and excuse my Latin, but that shit sucks. I would rather just teach the kids stuff and go back and forth until they learned it. Unfortunately, a lot of it comes with the job. Maybe a part of the fact that we don’t want to see more paperwork is because when we signed on to be teachers, it was to run from the traditional jobs in the office. Paper, however, comes with almost everything out there.
3) I’m almost in the same boat as you. Writing is my passion as well, but in this capitalist society, writers don’t get paid, and those that do are very few and far between. The reason I even have my job is because it’s the only job I knew I could do. If I had a choice, I’d wake up, eat Lucky Charms, and sit on my ass writing and watching NY Yankee games. Yet, most writers that dedicate themselves solely to writing are poor for real, and often depend on the kindness and generosity of others.
4) Corollary: Spaces like these are important. Not only can you jot down some notes that you wanted to write on, you can continue practicing and getting feedback. Some writers I knew will write about a page for their entire “Book Writing” day. Sometimes, being busy the way we are makes us have to be efficient and focused on the task when we get the chance to write. Be grateful for every opportunity you get.
5) To be honest, as a suggestion, I think I love “The Music Teacher” because of its simplicity. If you think back to the great films and pieces I’ve ever read, the greatest books had titles that were really simple, because it stood in stark contrast to the complex themes of the book.
6) To paraphrase the Lion King, courage doesn’t mean that you’re not afraid. Take heart in what you do. Be strong.
Thank you, Eileen, Repaiman and Jose. For you three: , for your words of encouragement and support. You have made me realize that I am where I should be and for that I am grateful.