Okay I started school approximately three weeks ago. Somewhere in there I went from being a mother of three working part time to a mother of three working full time. My grandfather died, I hired a baby sitter, I lost a baby sitter, I hired another baby sitter, I was appointed not only the yearbook editor, but now the newspaper editor too, I started a new job, not just a new job a new job in a 9-12 setting. I have started my final year of graduate school and missed 1 assignment (all freaking ready). I have turned into an ESL teacher when I am not nearly as trained for that as I should be, I have probably kissed my husband 4 times in that three weeks, I managed to piss off a few students that try and test my limits and I have cried just about every day and I have begged all the veteran teachers to tell me it is normal. I say all of this not to play the “I am busy” card because the whole world is busy.
I say it because I want a do-over. Can I tell you how many of them I have done right? Not one. And if I truly had to make a list of all the things I have done wrong that list would be a ton longer. The hardest adjustment changes almost daily for me. But yesterday my school had a “field day type activity”. We went out to our football field and we blared their music from the whole PA system. We had parents serving food and drinks. We had cards, board games, face painting, kickball tournaments, soccer and football, corn hole and just general hanging out.
It was exactly what I needed to gain some perspective. Somewhere in the last three weeks I went into survival mode. I merely existed. Occasionally, I would come up and breath for air and feel okay only to have something pushing me back down again. After my students got to see me in that atmosphere yesterday I realized they are not all that different than my own girls and guy. They feed off of what I am putting out there. Lately that is not good.
I have been trying to be super human and do it all. Bringing home work and working most of the night, getting up at 5:30 and working some more. I was not expecting the massive amounts of paper I push across my desk and here is the thing my boss truly protects me from that, so I imagine it is much less than the average k-12 teacher. But it took me by such a surprise. As well, my school system had a snafu. They intended the kids to have access on the internet with their ipads. Well they don’t. My lesson plans all included internet activities. Including massive amounts of free ebooks. I spent the last three weeks making it work. Tuesday when I go back we are going old school book in hand.
More than anything I have realized that I was trying so hard to control it all that I lost control of everything. A few more weeks of that I would have been in burn out mode and ready to fizzle. I gotta get it together. I know it won’t always be like this. It will get better.
I also know I am not the first working mom ever to feel like this. I know I will not be the last. I just gotta find my stride. Get back to my routine of working out, church and my family life (no particular order). I manage to toss all of those to the back burner and for what? I never had control to begin with.
So for now, I laugh at myself. Take pride in what I am doing and know it will get better. I am a survivor. And if I need another reminder I will allow my skin to be a canvas for my students. That seemed to be the reminder I needed to sit down and be real with them.