“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.” ~Joss Whedon
I had my formal observation at school today. Normally I am nervous and fret about it for days on end. I can’t sleep the night before, I stay late in my classroom every night cleaning and getting ready, I spend hours writing my lesson plan. Not this time. I spent maybe 20 minutes on my lesson plan, stayed maybe an hour later the night before cleaning up and slept like drunk (though I was not) last night.
You might think it was because in the four years I have been working in public schools I have learned a lot, gained more confidence, and understand the value of growing as a teacher. You might think it is because I have a complete understanding of my students and their needs, and what I, as their teacher, need to do to meet those needs. You might even think that I’m simply amazing at my job so there was never a need to worry in the first place.
None of this is true. Not one bit of it.
The fact of the matter is I simply don’t care.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am pretty good at my job. My children learn. Everyone is alive at the end of the day. I still continue to go above and beyond what is expected of me. But really, I think it’s because those things are ingrained in me. I have a strong work ethic. I will never just quit and walk away when other people are counting on me, nor will I simply not do what I am getting paid to do. But I just don’t care anymore. I don’t really like teaching.
I was at an Arts Everyday meeting with a friend the other day (on my own time, not getting paid) and we were listening to this person behind us who was obviously new, or at least relatively new, to teaching. He was going on and on about all these programs he wanted to start, how he’s in it for the kids, basically that this job and the children in his class are his reason for getting up every morning; his reason for living. All I could think was that this is a clear sign that I shouldn’t be doing this job anymore. None of these things applied to me. Yes, I used to be that idealistic and love my job and love my kids. Pretty much as recently as last year I knew (thought) that this is what I was meant to be doing and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else ever.
But things have changed. Something in me has changed.
I don’t like waking up every morning spending my day with this eager little people. In fact, most days I loathe it. I hate the fact that I spend more time with (and on) these children than I do my own. I hate the fact that my children get the brunt of my bad days because I’ve listened to whining and tattling all day so when I get home I literally explode when my own children do it. I’m upset over the fact that I used to have so much idealism, used to believe I could “be the change you wish to see in the world” and now I’m just happy if I make it through the day without having to call a parent and pray none of them text me for some insane reason.
But mostly, I simply hate the fact that I don’t care. I wish I liked my job. But not liking it has lead to not caring and really, it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me because I am miserable. It’s not fair to the people around me who I make miserable because they have to deal with me being miserable. It’s not fair to the kids who really, for the most part, didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not fair to the teachers who don’t have a job, because I’m selfishly taking this one and I don’t even want it.
So, really, what does all this mean? I means I need to look for a new job. I mean really and truly look for a new job. No more thinking I’m going to and then getting lazy because I make pretty good money and have great benefits. Frankly, it’s not worth it anymore. I have to stop sacrificing my happiness. Ever since the end of last year, ever since the summer, I feel like I have been simply going through the motions, not being completely here or there. It’s like I’ve been holding on to something I shouldn’t have, been waiting for someone or something else to come along and make this decision or change for me. And I have to stop. I have to let go. I have to move on from whatever it is.
I have to grow up, put on my big girl panties, and make some real choices.