Career crossroads

It's late, and I rolled in from work and meetings at about 10:30 tonight, but still I'm feeling like I need to write. We had a leadership team meeting for the Nebraska Writing Project in Lincoln tonight and then a few of us walked down the block to another meeting after that to plan for a session we'll be facilitating at conference coming up. Though these days are long, I always appreciate the time I get to collaborate with other teachers. I carpooled with two other teachers from the Metro area, and on the way there and back we talked teaching. Well, mostly they talked and I listened. They've got 10-15 years of teaching on me, and they're both intelligent dudes. At first it was sort of overwhelming to hear them talk so deeply and I felt like I had nothing to contribute, but eventually I came to simply enjoy listening to them. Their talk of literature, teaching, politics, and education made me think. And it was refreshing to have time to think and reflect. So much of this year has simply slipped by me. I feel like I haven't really done a good job at anything this year (teaching, relationships, learning, etc) because I've simply been surviving. It's a terrible feeling. I desperately want time to think and reflect.

I love teaching English, but I sometimes fear that I'm not cut out for it. It's a demanding profession, and my principal tells me I'm a type A person (I can't really argue with him). I haven't learned how to shut off my job yet.  My fear is that if I keep going at the speed I'm currently at, I'll be dried up in five years with nothing left to offer kids. I worry about balancing teaching English full time and being a parent (either to foster kids or our own through adoption); I can barely manage teaching full time and taking care of myself! This afternoon I stumbled across something I wrote a few years ago about the necessity of finding a way to keep young teachers teaching...perhaps that was my psyche foreshadowing all of these worries I have regarding the sustainability of my own career. Perhaps I'm just not cut out for teaching English. I wonder if all English teachers feel this way at some point in their career....

I feel I'm at a crossroads in my career. I don't want to be the person who never seems to be content with her situation. But I also want to be realistic and plan well for our future family. If I'm stressed out to the extreme, it will be difficult to be the kind of parent I want to be.

Making tough decisions blows (for a lack of more articulate terms).

1 comment:

Amy said...


I completely empathize with you on this issue. This is a constant struggle for me as well. I know you are a fantastic teacher and students learn a lot from you. Yet that balance is difficult. I wish I knew the answer!

I will be praying for you.