I just realized how trite my titles often are…as a former English major and current English teacher, my sincerest apologies for that. As someone who blogs in hopes of helping others with shitty days, as an act of catharsis, as a busy teacher and mom, fuck you if you’re judging me.
This week was…Okay, no. This year has been exhausting. My mom hit me with the told you so yesterday when I said this year has taken a toll on me, but it’s not the pregnancy that she was very against happening, it’s been everything else. This week is just following the pattern that the past three months for damn sure have started.
On Monday I heard a kid from my hometown passed away. A 16 year old. As someone who knew him when he was a (younger) kid, and someone who works with teenagers I just can’t wrap my mind around it. Sixteen year olds aren’t supposed to just die of natural causes; it’s asinine. It’s wrong. And it makes me struggle against a faith I already struggle with.
On Friday one of my coworkers sent out an email that was…terse…and said that effective in May she’s resigning as our local teacher association president and from negotiations. I understand why, it’s a lot and as the secretary of the chapter and someone who’s been on the negotiations team the past couple years, I understand: it’s thankless, and hard, and time consuming. But…I also laid awake last night worrying about her, hoping she isn’t reaching a burnout that will cost our district such a valuable part of it. And worrying about next year, because I don’t want to tackle–or feel obligated to tackle–either of those roles.
I went to a funeral yesterday, luckily for the uncle of a family friend who was elderly, but on the way I was talking to a friend who’s had a rough week, and I feel for her. We also talked about a situation that’s going on in Sioux Falls, where a girl with ties to our hometown committed suicide due to the bullying she was experiencing. Another child. And as a teacher, there’s two fold frustration there. Twelve. That’s a baby. And, because I’m a massive idiot, I read the comment section on things, and there’s a lot of–some justified–anger at the school, but also blame towards the teachers. As a teacher, I do try to impress to my students that words matter and hurt and have long term affects, but it’s not only our responsibility. And we can preach it all we want, but if your child hears you say something unkind, homophobic, racist, cruel, they’re going to mimic your actions far more willingly than they do ours or what we impress upon them.
On top of everything else I’m frustrated with, exhausted by, heartsick over, I start state testing on Wednesday. And I didn’t prep my kids to the extent I probably should have. I feel unsupported by my district sometimes, and this year has been hard for that. I feel that my principal is checked out, and that’s frustrating to me. And, I’m overly sensitive, which isn’t helping any of this.
The past couple weeks I’ve really questioned teaching. There are days where I don’t know that this is where I want to be. The pressure, the toll it takes, the overwhelming amount of sheer need my students have, it’s draining me. I come home and lay on my couch, do grad school homework, and go to bed. Neither my husband nor my child are getting the best part of me, but I’m not sure that my students are either.
To be honest, I’m not sure there is a best part of me right now.
And teenagers, they are cruel. I understand that I’m the adult, that I should have thicker skin, that in working with high school students I should expect some of it. But in the past two weeks I’ve had a student mention that I’m waddling, which apparently (sarcasm, I’m a rural kid, I was aware of this before I was informed by an idiotic senior) cows do shortly before they give birth; I have cankles (I am swollen, and it fucking sucks); and when someone said something about the baby coming soon and I said I still have two months, I was met with “You’re going to get even bigger?!”
I’m a teacher, I put myself in this shithole of a situation, but I’m also human, and fucking ouch, okay.
Tomorrow is the first week of April, which means I have…seven…weeks left of school depending on what’s decided on makeup days. I have ten weeks of pregnancy left as of tomorrow. Although, if Baby Boy comes at 37 weeks, I would be thrilled. I need the next couple months to fly by, because I can’t fucking handle this anymore. Oh, and four weeks left of grad school.
I firmly believe that with perseverance, friends, support, and a few vent sessions we can get through almost everything thrown at us. But. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there for friends, or you feel like you’re annoying people with the vent sessions. And honestly, at this point in the school year, every fucking teacher you know is fighting burn out, hard. We’re exhausted, students are checked out, state testing is in full swing and that’s a whole ‘nother post of frustrations. Our jobs aren’t easy on the good days, and this time of year those are few and far between.
Here’s to hoping that things straighten themselves out soon. That someone, somewhere is putting out good karma for me, lighting a candle, saying a prayer, talking to the universe on my behalf. At this point, I’m not opposed to anything that could help.
If you have a friend that teaches, is a student, is a parent, or just seems to be having a rough fucking go of it lately; do what you do. Say the prayer, put out positive vibes, align their chakras, buy them a cup of coffee and let them bitch to you, send them flowers just because. Because God (or whoever) knows our world needs a little more kindness than we’re seeing currently.