Monday, March 11, 2013
Intercranial Conversation With the Principal
I find myself unable to sleep, and I think it is because of the inter-cranial conversation that I'm having with my principal. Before I dump the very one-sided conversation here, background is needed.
Testing season will soon be upon us, therefore preparation season is imminent. After several weeks of odd days off of school, interruptions of the school day, and just plain sluggishness from the kids (and probably the teachers too, if we're being completely honest), things are off. I can't put my finger on what it is and why it's off, but it's off.
I looked at the calendar today and freaked the hell out. I realized that I basically have 7 days of instructions left, along with 3 weeks of review left before the CRCT. While what I have left to teach in that 7 days isn't really that much to teach, I'm finding it daunting. With that in mind, my inter-cranial conversation with the principal begins with a simple question from her:
[SCENE: THE PRINCIPAL and MS. INSANE board the elevator to the third floor. The door closes.]
THE PRINCIPAL: How are you today, Ms. Insane?
MS. INSANE SIGHS AND LOOKS UP AT THE CEILING CONTEMPLATIVELY. THERE IS A NOTICEABLE PAUSE BEFORE HER RESPONSE.
MS. INSANE: Sorry. I was just deciding between a white lie and the truth, but I think the truth would make me feel better. I'm worried. Not just about my class, but I'm worried about everything. From the kids, to the test results this year, to even my job security. I remember when you told me to remember that I can't control everything and that I need to let go.
However, I can't completely do that, because if I do, things will fall apart. I've tried loosening the reins a bit, and still things are not great. It would be one thing if it were just my classroom I had to worry about, but it's not. I'm trying to think and spin this school year into something that is not a failure, but I'm struggling. I'm feeling as if we, as an entire hallway, have failed these kids. I feel that I, as a teacher and a grade-level chair, have failed the kids and everyone else. Who knows? You might look at the data from this school year and be absolutely appalled by what you see and hold me accountable, which would be your right.
So, I'm not fine. I'm worried. I'm scared as hell about how this school year is going to down in the books for us. However, I do have a question for you. How do you do it? How do you not crack and lose it? I know, for me, it's hard, and I'm just worried about one grade out of five grades we have here. How do you not internalize every failure? How do you keep this not taking over your conversations at home? How do manage to not let this job take over your relationships? How do you do it? I'd like to be you when I grow up, and you seem pretty successful here at work. You also have a personal life. How do you do this and keep it together?
THE ELEVATOR STOPS ON THE THIRD FLOOR.
For obvious reasons, the elevator had to stop when I was done talking, because this is a conversation in my head, and if I had the answers to my question, I wouldn't be having this damn conversation in my head. Also, it was the end of my mind dump :)
...I actually feel somewhat better. At least enough to go to sleep. I'll put a more coherent explanation to this jazz later on. Until, let me add something to this post that DOES make me happy...