My middle grades teaching career began in August 2003 when I found a teaching job in line with the guidelines for the Master of Arts in Teaching alternative route to certification. My family moved from the metro suburbs to a rural community. Yes, we moved one day, and I attended a teacher inservice the next.
I worked full time as a 7th and 8th grade teacher of record with a provisional license, teaching three classes of each grade level for a total of approximately 160 students. The administrator and language arts department assisted me, but I had come from the private sector — administrative assistant in marketing — and feared relying on others too much. Certainly I could handle reading 160 essays, providing feedback, and grading revisions before the statewide portfolio assessment was due.
Teaching full-time, grading students’ papers and writing my own, and leaving two little ones behind while I attended class each Saturday made me question (many times) why. I felt stuck — we had moved, I needed to finish this degree, and I did not know if I could handle one more day. One Saturday, I entered the university classroom, saw other students with their composition notebooks, and realized my journal assignment was incomplete. Before class even started, I had hot, overwhelming tears of frustration spilling from my eyes, no longer containable.
It is years later, and I am okay. I have written several times about classroom successes and exciting professional experiences. My colleagues — friends — make me thankful each day for choosing such an amazing career.
But not everyone is okay right now.
The Padlet board “An Anonymous Teacher Speaks” reminded me of hot, overtired, stressed, one-more-thing tears of not enough — not enough me to be my best.
Not enough of my best to read, provide feedback, and grade
and learn new technologies, plan engaging instruction, implement online activities
and conference with students and parents
and attend workshops, trainings, and committee meetings
and be a parent
and be something for myself.
I hear you.
Tell me how I can help you be okay.