It is morning as I write this blog post. I am so tired and have a lot of work to do that I should be doing but I think my tiredness comes from not taking care of myself. I promised myself after my publishing job that I would never put my job and pleasing others before my own self-care. I’ve started a new job, my dream job, the one I’ve been working and imagining and dreaming for two years, but also my whole life sometimes I think, teaching English for Summer School at a high school. It is going well and I enjoy it, but – DAMN the expectations are out of this world. The Administrators have crazy expectations, the students have crazy expectations, the parents have crazy expectations, and I have crazy expectations – and yet I feel 100% alone in being responsible for managing and enforcing and creating the circumstances for these expectations to be met. I am so thankful for meeting with my past English teacher yesterday and her sending loads of resources! Although, having loads of resources is it’s own challenge. Now I need to read through everything and figure out what will work in this situation and what will work for me, and then recreate the curriculum and direction I had created.
I am finding teaching to be the most complicated puzzle I have ever experienced and it keeps me constantly engaged and thinking. It is good for an overthinker like me, as the puzzle changes every day and gets more and more complicated. I love this puzzle – and I enjoy this puzzle and I am happy to spend a lot of time thinking about this puzzle. But, I can already feel my self-care and my separate identity going out the door.
I don’t know how teachers do this for years and years before they have burnout or get cancer or hit rock bottom and then switch careers. Did you know 50% of teachers leave the profession before seven years? I do, I think about it a lot. It has only been 3 days of working and I think I know why. I feel like an actress as a teacher with a three hour life performance every day, except that I don’t have a cast or a director or ushers. It is a one woman show, and I am playing every single part. I hated being an usher! Having to wander around the crowd and stop people from texting during the show or trying to film. It only hurts them! Distracts them from the experience they have paid good money for, makes people resent them around them, and is rude to the people they are supposedly wanting to support who have kindly asked you don’t record so that they can make a decent living instead of people seeing clips on youtube. But no, they just go for it! In class, I feel like I am an usher again, and I hate it.
I don’t want to go around all day getting on these kids for this stuff, I want them to make the choice themselves! Trying to plan a lesson or conversation about it, but that takes time and honestly, I need to post grades this morning because turns out the parents don’t have access to Google Classroom so they are all confused. The kids did not do well on the first essay, not one bit – which isn’t surprising because this is summer school and most of kids failed all of last year and some even failed 9th grade!
Oh and I haven’t been exercising enough and I didn’t have time to grocery shop and I haven’t done yoga in a week and I am still trying to do things after work because I want to have a social life although I am not doing so much and I am still processing the loss of my bestest friend and babyboy Ozzie and everything is changing and this is only temporary and I still miss my friends and life in the UK and still feeling like I am not happy as I was then — different things are good and different things are bad, and there are still crises going on everywhere and people still posting on Facebook and Instagram and birthdays that trigger my social anxiety and wishing I was better at giving gifts and thinking how life makes no sense in the Valley – no community center, no sense of belonging, no meaning or purpose other than the one I give myself and no external validation to tell me – you are doing the right thing – other than the one in my heart and in my head – and the one in my head sometimes gets really annoyed and pissed and frustrated because there is nothing out there in my community where new teachers can just chill out and event and work together as a team, and no TV shows about our problems — and I am always driving, driving, slowly polluting the universe I love so much because I have to go to work, see someone I love.
Oh, it is exhausting, exhausting, exhausting. How have people done this for so long? I feel like I am hitting my head against a brick wall while also shouting at the previous generation – WHY THE FUCK DID YOU BUILD A BRICK WALL!?!?!? Cars only came about in the early 1900s and freeways in the 40s! It didn’t have to be this way, it didn’t have to be this way. We didn’t have credit cards or corporations or lives that revolved 100% around our jobs our jobs our jobs and the only advice we have for young professionals is invest early! INVEST EARLY.
Hit my head against a wall and blackout.
Now I go grade and work for two and a half hours that I am not going to be paid for because I just want to do my job well, and they only pay for 1 hour of prep which is really me monitoring nutrition and being available for office hours, and then working 2 more hours at night unpaid because I just want to do my job well, because I want my students to be successful, to learn and grow and develop the critical literacy skills so that they do not get manipulated and taken advantage of by a system that wants to use them, use them, use them until they shout, scream, blackout.
Then, they’ll send you to therapy. Then, they’ll tell you that you need to change. Then, when you realize it is not you that needs to change, it is society. They will tell you that life is unfair and that God created our society – which is not true! All the rules in society are written, approved, and implemented by the people, the people! And we can change, we can change.
I don’t want to blackout the rest of my life. I don’t want to have to choose between doing my job well and taking care of myself and enjoying the journey.
Help – what can I do? Am I the only one who feels this way?
It is 8:01am now. Grading time! See you next time I need to let it outttt.