Year Eight?

Somehow, it’s August already. Which means school starts in the next three weeks–17 days to be exact.

I’m not ready this year.

For the first time in my teaching career, or hell, my educational career (as in the 18 years I was a student before I because a teacher) I’m not excited. I’m not filled with anticipation and energy. School supplies aren’t bringing me the normal amount of joy-except my new planner: it’s beautiful.

What I am filled with is trepidation, worry, nerves, and a dash of frustration.

I’m filled with fear, which sounds weird, but it’s true. I’m afraid because I don’t have any clue what the fuck to expect this year. I’m terrified that my whole world will be turned upside down, again. I’m petrified that this year, and all that comes with it, will be my last, because I don’t want to teach if I’m not passionate about it. The students deserve better.

And, no. It’s not all covid. It’s the overall tone and mood of the school district I’m in. It’s the fact that it’s August and I don’t have a schedule, class lists, or any idea what the guidelines for classroom set up are.

It’s the fact that I’m sending my oldest to school in these crazy times: masking or no, social distancing, and to a school I’m not sure I always have faith in.

And, to top that off, one of his best friends of five years, is going to school in a neighboring district. And I’m JEALOUS that his parents had the freedom to make that choice for him, because it’s the right choice for his family.

I’m working really hard on finding positivity in all of this, because I don’t feel that it’s fair to my students to come in with a shitty attitude. Or G for that matter: he’s so excited about starting school, and I don’t want to take that away from him, anymore than I do my own kids.

I’ve always loved school: supplies, routine, learning, books–oh, the books. The social aspect, the environment, the chalk/white boards, classroom decor. I want that for Griffin. I want him to feel the anticipation for what’s to come, like I have every year for the better part of my life.

But it’s really hard to get excited with so many unknowns, and some negative knowns for that matter.

I don’t want to become the jaded teacher. I don’t want to believe I’m working for a system that’s broken beyond compare, another gear in the machine, or part of the problem. That’s not why I went into teaching to begin with.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s teachers everywhere after the last couple years.

Maybe I am in the wrong field. Maybe I need a change of pace/scenery/job.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t have advice or insight.

What I do have is students I’m ready to see, nightmares about the first couple days (every year, because I’m crazy), a soon-to-be kindergartener who gets to go school shopping today, supportive friends who don’t judge me when I vocalize my concerns, and a spark of what was a flame eight years ago. Maybe I can fan it back to where I want it to be, because that’s what my students need, what I need, what the world of education needs.

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