Friday, February 03, 2006

Back on Track

Hear that? That's a HUGE sigh of relief issuing forth from my general vicinity.

Today marks the end of my first week back in high school. I'm hard pressed for words to describe the feelings I have right now, but since that's the point of my writing here, I'll do my best.

I went to a pretty dark place through most of the last semester. I was spending a lot of energy - more than I had to spare, really - on a lot of nonsense. I was preoccupied, I was nervous all the time, and I had really lost sight of what I was really there for. I began to dread going to work, was anxious about what I would find when I got there, and really lost sight of what I loved about teaching.

By the time last semester ended, I was really struggling with the thought of going back. I know I SAID that the experience hadn't shaken my desire to become a teacher, but I have to be honest in looking back and say that, really, it did. I began to crave my stay-at-home-mom days; I wanted to be free of the stress, pressure and general stupidity of what I had just been through. I didn't feel that the benefits - the love of the subject, the love of the kids, the general satisfaction in doing what I really wanted to do - were strong enough to counterbalance all the stress and strain of the political situation. I was ready to say to hell with all of it.

I've been in my new placement for a week now, and I'm practically floating. I taught a couple of classes this week and have rediscovered what I was missing last semester. I love this work. I love talking to the kids, I love watching them struggle with an idea, I love the look on their faces when I tell them that I KNOW that the answer is in their heads and they have to believe it, too. I love it when kids start sentences with "Mrs. Chili, doesn't this mean that...." and have them make connections that I never thought of. This is what I do this for.

I'm so glad I didn't leave when the going got stupid.


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