A first-year teacher writes on the "joys" of the classroom. :)
|Believe it or not, your teachers love Labor Day weekend even more than you do.|
Thank God I had this weekend to get my shit put together. Not that I'm doing such a great job of it; the new teacher thing is still a big obstacle to overcome. Who knows if I'll ever get all my kids' work back to them!
It's strange, but I feel like I'm picking up right where I left off in January. January, the month I went crazy and ended up in a mental health facility. Or was it February? I can't remember. Those 3 weeks were among the most endearing times of my life. All I had to do was show up at 9 AM, participate in class, and go home at 3. I didn't have to drive, didn't have to prepare any meals, and I didn't have to do any work. All I had to do was take my showers, brush my teeth, and convince myself that suicide wasn't the answer.
And now I'm a full-time teacher of close to 90 freshman and sophomore students. Nobody knows about what happened to me last winter, and nobody ever will. Every day I struggle to hack my way through the jungle of anxiety and the predatory claws of depression. Every day I take my pills, morning and night, to keep myself sane. And sometimes I still get so overwhelmed that I can't help but cry myself thorugh it.
So a young woman with clinical anxiety decides to plant herself in one of the most stressful, time-consuming jobs: teaching. It's not so much the stress of the kids, or the act of teaching itself. It's planning. It's grading. It's wasting your time in ridiculous trainings, meetings, and orientations in stead of spending that precious time getting ready to do your job. By definition of my job, I shouldn't be doing it, since as recently as 6 months ago I could barely grade a multiple-choice test without going through a major depressive episode. But believe it or not, here I am, responsible for the education - and future - of 90 boisterous kids. And so far, it's actually going okay.