I love teaching. I love being a teacher. I don't always love education and the politics involved.
I am struggling this year to find my love of teaching. I just feel...blah. I'm going through the motions and sadly, no one really knows it because I'm good at what I do. So good that a department head from another high school in our district visited my classes today because she wants to incorporate what we are doing into her program over there. And they are considered the better high school so the irony of it is not lost on me. I'm good. But God Almighty, I AM BORED.
When I returned from maternity leave, I had the fortune to work with the ASB student leadership program, teaching the leadership class. With this assignment, I found my place. It fulfilled me to the core to work with student leaders. The pace. The energy. Problem solving on the fly. Facing challenges and learning how to make something work when everyone said it couldn't. Above all else, it was an opportunity to serve others and give back to the place I grew up. Service leadership.
However, in the second year, the program was being led in a direction by administration that I did not and could not support. It simply wasn't best for kids. I did everything I could to make it work. I used my voice and stated I was either going to run the program by myself or I was going to walk. When the dust settled, my principal picked the person to lead ASB who will lighten his load by doing work that I don't believe the position entails. It's a philosophical difference that has us "agreeing to disagree". Let me be clear, I could have stayed in the position. It was my decision to fold the cards and walk away from the table.
I keep thinking I will find my new normalcy teaching P.E. But who am I kidding. I've always been a leader. If I wasn't a leader and didn't believe in student leadership, would I REALLY spend a week each summer, teaching leadership students (well, yes, but that's beside the point)? I LOVE working with students to help shape and develop their leadership skills. I SHOULD be doing that job. And I'm NOT. Am I jealous? Hell yeah. Was my pride hurt that I didn't receive the job? Hell yeah. But did I deserve that job? Hell yeah. I have been a class adviser for 8 years, have taught at a leadership camp the past 5 summers, and have taught thousands of students the past 15 years . Why wasn't that enough? Why did he give it to a person who has LESS THAN 2 YEARS TEACHING EXPERIENCE?
I really do try to not feel sorry for myself. I simply didn't realize was how hard it would be to continue to go to this building and face that my boss thought someone was better than me. Or to watch students I care so much about struggle with simple tasks because they aren't being given the tools to succeed. So, call it bruised pride or jealousy, if you will. Either way, it hurts.
I can say that physically and emotionally I am better for folding this hand. My husband and son are happier because I am home more. My amazing family and friends love and support me as I heal from this pain and are patient as I rant (yet again) again and again. I sleep at night. I'm eating healthier and working out on a regular basis. And my liver is a whole lot happier without all that red wine. I can hide in my office in the bowels of our building and unless I chose it, I can avoid face to face conversations with the "leaders" in my building. And I'm being true to the leader in me.
But don't count me out of this game. Not just yet. I'll have my turn to deal the cards someday. And then we'll see who's the last to walk away.