I’m really not doing as good of a job of keeping this thing updated as I did last year 😦
I realize my last post was kind of a downer, and things are going somewhat better now. But not before they got a bit worse. I had an awful week two weeks ago. Every day, it was a struggle to get out of bed and get to school. I think a big part of it was the fact that I had been ill for a couple weeks, which was really sapping my energy, and I think my lack of energy made my mood so awful. I was beginning to get concerned that if things didn’t change, I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. Fortunately, this past last week went a lot more smoothly.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about TFA and education, in general and in the inner city. I don’t think I’ve quite reached any conclusions, but I’ll probably start writing my thoughts down to really figure out what I’ve really learned from this whole experience. I haven’t quite boiled it down to something concrete yet.
But one thing I feel pretty confident in saying is that I don’t see myself teaching as a career. That probably seems painfully obvious if you’ve read anything I’ve previously posted. But I have tried really, really hard to make this whole thing work out. Last spring, I had all but decided not to come back, because I knew then that even if everything went more smoothly, just like everybody promised, I could still see that it wasn’t for me. Well, everything generally is going better, but even on the best days, this job is a more-or-less joyless struggle. But while I’m here I’ve still gotta try to do the best for the kids that I can do.
My TFA program director and my administration have been very supportive ever since I got put on my improvement plan. In the City, at many schools, an improvement plan is nothing more than the first step toward booting your butt out the door, so I’ve got to hand it to them for actually putting in the effort toward literally trying to improve my skills. And I’m trying, but I just feel bad that people are doing their jobs backing me up, but my heart’s really just not in it anymore.
It’s not that I don’t care about the kids, I just don’t believe that I could do a much better job even if I put more effort into it. And I don’t think I have much reserve effort to put in. Either my job’s not built with the framework for the students to ever possibly be successful, or I’m not built to do my job successfully. I know I’m supposed to be framing my thoughts on what I can do for my students, increasing student achievement, building relationships, and so on. And I really do try to do all of that. Maybe I’m just selfish, but I have trouble seeing past my own unhappiness.
In any case, I’ve got two 5-day weeks until Thanksgiving. Time to get my head back in the game.