Nothing says, “Break is over!”, like getting up at 6:30am and returning to school. My dreaded alarm was back to its usual self this morning, and despite all impulses to the contrary, I followed its incessant command to rise and begin my day.
So far we’ve had a faculty meeting, discussed some goals for the year, and got an hour of personal work time to do anything that needs to be done.
Praise the Lord I do not have a single grade to enter or parent to notify! I wore myself out that last week of school, but I definitely went into break with Fall Semester officially completed and behind me. I’ve mostly been putzing around my room – making adjustments to posters, changing out some wall décor, putting up the new calendar – nothing super intense, but the sort of little stuff that helps you feel like you’re getting back into regular routines (and leaving the good old days of lazing about behind you).
Last year I remember being excited about many of my students return – thinking through my class lists I would feel genuine excitement over students walking back into my room and picking up again in the new year. This year….I just don’t feel the enthusiasm. The kids are coming back. No faces light up in my mind, and my enthusiasm is low. I wonder why? This hasn’t been a bad year – I’m so improved from year 1, its actually been very good. Maybe I’m just a bit tired from break still – lots of emotional experiences that have impacted me more than I realize, perhaps.
I look forward to getting back into a routine, to being productive, to moving through my day with purpose.
I don’t feel excited to lesson plan, interact with students, or jump into a new semester of content.
Does this mean I’m a terrible teacher? That I’m prematurely “burned out”? That I’m doing a disservice to my students?
Or does it just mean I’m a little tired right now, but I’m going to be okay? That not everyday is rainbows and sunshine, and that doesn’t really matter?
I take comfort in the fact that I know myself – I will work hard, and do my absolute best job as a teacher, regardless of how I feel on any given day. You don’t have to have all the feels to do the right thing and make good decisions. One benefit of experiencing depression and having many absolute emotional “holes” in my life where I felt nothing at all, is that I know without a doubt that feelings are not *needed* for life to carry on. I will choose to be innovative & creative, I will work hard to meet my students needs, and I will complete all of the grading, paperwork, and random forms sent my way in a timely manner. Not because I’m “feeling it”, but because I have proven to myself, time and time again, that I am absolutely the kind of person that will show up and make good choices.
And you know what? That feels good.