For the first time in my teaching career, I feel completely disconnected from being a teacher. Being Ms M has been my identity for fifteen years. I have been the teacher students turn to when issues of relationships, drugs/alcohol, or teen pregnancy enter their lives. Or if they have a new car, get accepted to college, or if it is their birthday. I am the adult they talk with when they can't talk to their parents. And I love that role because that is the reason I entered teaching. I have always been less concerned with teaching content and more about helping the individual student.
This year, I am finding it hard to be patient and listen to students. The hurt I feel from the lack of loyalty from my administration is trickling into my daily teaching. I don't want to be close to co-workers. I don't want to be close to students. Most days, I'm 15 minutes late to work, I don't leave my office until it is time to teach, and I've been known to beat the busses out of the parking lot at the end of the day. I don't want to care because when I did care and gave all that Ms. M had, it broke my heart. I'm not ready to give my heart again. The three closest friends I have had have left in the last two years. I'm not ready to show my loyalty and care about co-workers who are going to leave. I haven't had a favorite class since 2006 graduated and love when they come home from college so I can laugh again. It isn't like me to go through the motions, yet that's exactly what I am doing. Students still confide in me but I'm finding it to be more of a burden than anything else (not that they would ever notice, though).
In my head, I know that teaching is just a job and I should have no problem disconnecting from it.
My heart hasn't figured that part out.