As this semester (finally) ends, I’m facing the fear that I don’t have enough left in the tank for the next 5 months. Already, I feel like I’m barely getting through my weeks, and this is January, which is arguably the softest month of school. What in the world am I going to feel in the brutally long stretch until spring break? My experience tells me is that it’s not gonna get much better.
I’ve had to man up continuously this past year and a half to keep renewing my commitment. I really, really want to finish the job I started. I don’t want to be a quitter. I don’t want to be the one 2nd year who walked out mid-year. And I especially don’t want to hang my school and my students out to dry. But, I can feel my well-being decreasing, and it’s getting harder and harder to do just to do the same amount of work, let alone improve. I know this job is hard on everyone, and I know I’d be a big-time punk for walking out, but I really don’t feel like people are understanding what’s going on in my head right now. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that there’s so many people in worse situations than me, so why should I feel so bad for myself? After all, I joined the corps by choice.
I’ve been spending the past week or so marshaling my resources again, trying to find ways to keep going. This time though, I think the only way that’s going to happen is if I can work something out with my school to get my workload down to a much more manageable level. I’m trying to figure out what that might look like. But business as usual is not going to get it done. In the meantime, I’m swallowing my pride and asking for whatever assistance I can get, even though a big part of me says “dude, just let it go, finally”. If I do walk, I want to know that I tried every avenue before I made my decision. I just don’t know how much more I have left to give.
I feel a lot different from how I did this time last year. There’s no doubt about it, I’m way more effective than before. But I’ve also lost a lot of the sense of possibility that I used to have. Deep down, I just don’t believe I’ll ever be much more successful with my students than I am now or that I’ll ever enjoy teaching. We’ll see if this is really my last stand, or whether I’ll live to keep fighting, as I have somehow, so far.
I feel like that knight in the Monty Python movie that just won’t quit, despite having his limbs lopped off, one by one. Big decisions are coming down the pipeline within the next week or so.