Something’s been weighing me down for a while now. I feel like one of the things I need to do in order to return to a more regular blogging practice [hah!] is to get this particular story off my chest.
I had a really shitty end of the school year last spring. Which transitioned into a not-so-great beginning of the school year this fall. Those of you who know me IRL know that I am very even-keeled. It takes a lot to get me riled up, and about three times as much to get me past “riled up” and into actual anger.
The night before the first day of school (the real first day, when kids go to classes, none of that orientation junk) I sat down next to Avery and asked for his help.
“I don’t know what to do,” I said. “I want to be excited for tomorrow, but all I can think about is how angry I am.”
It was truly upsetting. I felt no excitement for meeting my students, not even nervous anticipation about the first day of school. All I felt when I thought about going into work the next day was anger. Gut churning, anxiety producing ANGER. So much anger that it physically felt unhealthy.
I want you to know that I don’t feel that way anymore. Enough good times have gone by since then that stand in opposition to the angry-making events I experienced last year that I generally look forward to heading in to school. I mean, as much as any of us look forward to going to work, amiright? But I’ll be honest, the anger isn’t gone; it’s just put to the side.
I don’t know how much of the nuts and bolts of my shitty situation I want to go into. Suffice it to say things culminated in the administration at my school asking me to step down as math team leader and then making several other top-down decisions one right after another. All of this beginning two weeks before school ended, mind you.
Avery was great by the way. He pointed out that since the bad stuff had happened at the end of the school year, and that then I had left for the summer, I had never had the time to rebuild good memories and positive associations for being back at school. I can’t say that the ~3 weeks of meetings, preparation and orientation did much to cover those bases either. But the past 9 weeks with kids has brought me back to my center–to the place where being in school means being around kids who I know and have fun with and learn with. And that makes me feel good.
Right now, being at work is like being in two worlds that sometimes overlap. Being with kids (which is most of the time) is great; being with my math team and interacting with admin…not as great, to say the least. It feels really weird.
I’ve worked at schools where my administration didn’t support me, and it sucked, but I knew my team had my back and I felt supported by them. This is different. I’ve never been at a place where I felt so much divisiveness within my department. And that what it feels like right now. A colleague of mine in the science department commented to me today that she had walked by our math team meeting last week and that it felt “crackly in there.”
Being at CMC-South this past weekend was great. It reminded me of how I have all of you folks out there to be my support. To have my back. Even if I don’t have that at my school right now, I have it from all of you.
So, if you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading. Thanks so much for being there, for sharing what you do, for being awesome. I think I may need to lean on you this year.