Clearly, I fell off the blogging bandwagon.
The last month before winter break has been hectic. As, I imagine, it always will be. My motivation dipped significantly low and I focused, more than anything, on reaching winter break. For the last week, I have been in Michigan, spending time with family and relaxing.
This time last year, I seriously considered quitting the teaching profession. I had never felt so emotionally or physically exhausted; I felt like I didn’t recognize my body or my mind anymore. I’d actively dreaded the return to the school year, fantasizing vaguely about joining the Peace Corps or applying to jobs that I’d not previously had any interest in (and still don’t, really). I could not possibly imagine reaching the summer finish line. It seemed truly, painfully impossible.
But I made it. I finished the school year, both as a better teacher and (I think) a better person. My teaching improved, and though I could not have imagined a worse spring semester from the fall semester, I encountered the death of a student and a long, stressful statewide teaching strike. I moved through both, and I finished the school year.
And even though I am tired, and I am wishing this winter break were one week longer than it is, I am very cognizant of the fact that this winter break is about a million times better than the last winter break. My feeling of tired is much better than my feeling of exhausted. My knowing that I can get to the end of the school year is much, much better than my feeling of dreading the next part of the school year.
The first school year of a teacher’s career is unlike anything I’d ever experienced, and certainly not something I’d felt prepared to encounter. This year, only a few months separated, is so immensely better and more enjoyable. It is not perfect. It is not flawless or easy. But, man, is it better. And it will continue to be so with time. Cheers to the veteran teachers and to the new, and enjoy your winter breaks.