Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mental Space

Oh, hello strangers. I'm sorry I haven't written in a whole week, my mental space has been cluttered. My thesis was due on Tuesday, and I spent Monday writing, editing, polishing, and getting things under control. It feels phenomenal to be able to see the finish line on my grad school horizon.

Along with seeing the finish line on grad school, though comes seeing the finish line at my current job. I've been feeling low about it lately, possibly the lowest I've felt since realizing I should leave. It's hard. I love many of the people I work with. Now that the announcements have been made about who is teaching in what positions next year, the general public knows that I'm leaving, and are processing the information in a way I processed it many moons ago. I've been truly touched by the number of people that have come to me to say that they will miss me, that they love the way I work with my students, that they feel I am an amazing teacher. On the other end of the spectrum, two of the people that made it necessary for me to go have been unspeakably cruel. Ignoring me. Not asking my opinion regarding instructional decisions being made for my students for next year. Calling me unprofessional and disappointing to my face over something trivial. All of it. Knowing I had so many people that loved and supported me in a place I'm about to leave. Knowing that people I work with daily have such a misconstrued opinion of my motives. Not knowing what I'm walking into next year.

All in all, I think the change will be good for me. I walked into my current school feeling cocky, with six months of teaching experience under my belt, sure that I was God's gift to teaching. Over the last four years, I've learned to be humble about my skills, to admit my mistakes, to grieve for and laugh with my students without letting the tough times define me as a person. I've learned how schools really work, about special ed and gifted ed and ELL and native language transfer and more acronyms than one profession should really have. I've learned how to take marker stains off of almost any thing. I've also learned that I am a force to be reckoned with, while also learning to choose my battles wisely. Yet, on some level, I think that on some level, my current co-workers will always see me as that disorganized, impulsive 22 year old, and not the thoughtful, hard-working teacher I've grown into. Maybe moving on will help me to find my voice as a teacher, in a way I've only really begun learning how to do this year.

Processing all of these upheavals in my career has been taking up a lot of mental space. I'm only now starting to clear the cobwebs that two years of accelerated grad school and school changes have left behind. Writing this long post today really helped me to put my emotions in check. So thanks for reading, friends.

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