Wednesday, September 29, 2010

overwhelming wednesdays.

i hate wednesdays. wednesdays are early dismissal days. that means the kids leave early and the teachers get to spend two and a half hours in meetings. last year, i found this time to be a bit of a mid-week relief. this year, i've come to dread it from the depth of my soul. every week i go in feeling fine and come out feeling terrible.

i went to school this morning feeling pretty good about things instructionally. by the time i left, i was overcome with the complete overwhelmingness that has become common place in my professional life. turns out i don't actually know how to teach third grade. it seems like a weird, in-between phase of still learning how to decode words, but transitioning into a bigger focus on comprehension and critical thinking. it's a vague and murky place and i don't really understand exactly where the balance falls in terms of what my kids need. which means that i constantly feel as though i'm not doing enough things or the right things for them.

every time i walk into another teacher's room, i find at least 3 things that i think, "oh man, they are doing a great job. i should be doing that." which is incredibly overwhelming because the thought that immediately follows is, "when will i do that? what time can i possibly squeeze from what we are already doing, to do that?" but it seems like an important thing that i should make time for. which is completely at odds with the constraints that i feel have been handed to me by the powers-that-be concerning how i should be using my time. it all feels like a giant juggling act where i've been trained to juggle 6 pins but every time i look up someone is trying to throw something else into my hands and i think it would really add to the show but i just don't know how to fit it in.

i know that i am not completely failing. i know that i am doing much better than last year. i know that on some things, i am doing a great job. the thing is, these small successes get completely obscured by what seem to be my much larger failures, which is a big problem emotionally because i care so much about what i do. it's frustrating and stressful to constantly feel like i'm not doing the best i can for people that i care about very deeply. i want my students to be the best that they can be and i feel like, no matter how hard i work, i'm just not tapping into all of that potential.

1 comment:

Rob Mc said...

Courage Kim! I can relate to the feeling you describe, but think about this: Its very likely (statistically and psychologically) that those teachers are thinking the same thoughts when they walk into YOUR room! We focus WAY too much on our weaknesses instead of focusing on our strengths.