Monday, April 27, 2015

28 and counting (an honest post)

One of my colleagues pointed out yesterday how many days of school we had left. I was like "what?? No way!" 

So of course I had to look it up to see if she was pulling my leg ;)

It's been a challenging year for a lot of reasons. I am 100% ready to put this year to bed and move forward. That doesn't mean that I won't give my students my all for the next 28 days...but I'm pretty much done.

One of the hardest parts of this year has been that I've absolutely carried my grade level. It's not fair at all and I'm really quite done with it. Something I have always liked about my school is the teaming aspect...that has not really been true for the past two years. This year has been worse than any other. 

I've had really low kids and have busted my butt trying to keep things going for the other 4th grade class (not my job to do but I care too much about kids to just let the ball drop on them). I'm really disappointed that today when we MAP tested in math, my kids whom have had a stable teacher all year didn't do as well as some of those kids who have had a mess of learning (to be nice about it) all year. Of course, some of those kids came in much higher than my kids anyway but still. I have practically put myself in a grave to give my kids everything they need AND provided for the other class (lesson plans and whatnot) and there wasn't much of a payoff in that today. It's disappointing.

Thus, I guess my biggest lesson is to stop trying to take care of other people. It isn't my job. But I can't just be like "oh whatever, it's your problem, haha" and walk away. I'm not like that. Especially not when it affects kids.

To be honest, however, I am absolutely certain that the other 4th grade class it not going to fare so well on the reading test. I don't want to be all comparing my class to theirs but at the same time, I guess I want to feel like the extra work I did this year to make sure MY class was stable paid off and I don't see that (at least not as of the results of today's test).

I was reading back through the blog from the last couple of years and realize how absolutely sparse the blog has been this year compared to years past. Part of it is because I didn't create this blog to come online and be negative. I am frustrated much of the time and more times than I care to admit, I have wanted to just quit and walk away. That's how difficult this year has been. I didn't feel the need to broadcast that all over the internet, especially because I know there are people in my district who have discovered this blog. I don't want to be negative and make it seems like I'm shifting blame to people when it doesn't belong on them.  Even though I'm relatively vocal to colleagues I can trust about my frustrations, especially from this year, I don't think they really realize how close I have been, on multiple occasions, to having a breakdown because I just can't be everybody's everything.

The reality of being a teacher who has clinical depression and PTSD and no longer takes meds for those conditions is that sometimes little events feel huge. And huge events feel impossible to overcome. 95% of this school year has felt impossible to overcome. Add in "doctor school", where by some miracle I have managed to not only stay on top of my course-load along with everything else but also maintain a 4.0, and there are days when I just want to crawl in a hole and not come out. There are nights when I don't have homework (very rare) and I ignore the work I need to do for my job and I just stare endlessly at my computer...because I can just exist and don't have to be anyone's anything. My poor kids and husband just let me be because they just don't know what to make of where my current mindset has been much of this year.

Sometimes people think, very wrongly, that I'm overwhelmed because I'm in grad school and taking care of my kids and handling a job that doesn't end at 4 pm. It's not grad school at all. It's the never-ending task of carrying the entire 4th grade group. I just can't do it anymore. This is one of the main reasons I am moving to 3rd grade. I knew that if my principal wasn't able to move me around for next year, that I would have to leave my beloved school. I LOVE my colleagues very much and I am so, so grateful for the STABLE 3rd grade floor mates that I have....but there was just no way I could (emotionally) do this again next year. The upcoming 4s are even needier than this year. No way could I do it again. No way.

I guess there is no real point in this post. It's just really rambling. I wanted to just post and be honest. I love this blog and the readership I've generated in the last 5 years. People who have stuck with me through my grade level shuffle and the ups and downs of life as a teacher. I wanted to just be honest and tell you why my blog hasn't been that exciting this year. I don't have anything exciting or fun to share for the most part. I have spent a good part of this year just trying to survive. 

I'm hopeful that in 28 days, when I finally lay this year down to bed and can move forward toward next year, that my blog will be able to return to it's former glory. I want to be able to share happy, good and thoughtful things that I plan to do with my kids...but I also feel like it wouldn't be fair to just pretend that there isn't a valid reason why the blog has been so sparse this year.

If you've made it through this, I appreciate you reading. I guess I just needed to put it out there.


  1. I love your blog. It's real and it shows the life of a teacher. Your blog was the first blog I followed. Our schools sound similar.

    1. Thank you, Gina. It was hard for me to press submit on this one...but when I thought about it, one thing I have always been is 100% transparent on my blog. I wasn't going to be any different this time :)