Author's Note: This isn't a pity post. I'm not looking for words of encouragement---I'm simply self-reflecting.
I love running, but I hate feeling like I'm getting nowhere when running. Of course I'm not referring to literal running this time...
This week of teaching has been incredibly frustrating. Actually, this year has been my most challenging year so far. I feel like I finally have a decent grasp on the content I'm teaching, and I've got some cool units and lessons worked out. But I seem to be running and going nowhere. I'm trying to lead my kids to improvement, growth, etc. and some of them are running right with me, while others are following close behind. But many are back at the starting line and don't seem to have budged. This is usually how it works in education---but I'm a little nervous about...actually, I'm terrified at the high number of kids I still have on the starting line at week 12 of the school year. Yesterday I sat at my desk during my plan period with my head in my shaking hands and tears streaming onto my keyboard...all out of frustration. I don't know what to do to motivate some of my students. I've tried positivity, engaging lessons, pep-talks, mixing up the content of my class, heart to hearts, personal letters, group work, solo work, projects, quizzes, lectures, grades....it's only November, and I've already used up my best tricks. I know I can't reach every kid (though I'm going to try), but I honestly feel like I'm failing as a teacher.
I love teaching, but this year I'm struggling to be positive as I head to work. I'm exhausted by one in the afternoon and my body aches by seven in the evening. By eight I want to be in bed. I usually experience this feeling for a short time in February, not November. It worries me. I don't know if I need a change of venue or a change of career. I pray each night God would give me a joyful demeanor and patience as I prepare for the next day, but it's hard to maintain this past noon. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep pouring energy into kids with no return, no gains, not even a glimmer to tell me they're "getting it."