March 8, 2011

The death of the whiteboard marker

Apparently this is a very common feeling -- doing a million hours of work and feeling like you’ve completed nothing except trudge through mud which has turned to a swamp of melting blu-tack in a forrest where tree-sized white board markers come to die. You yell out and all you can hear is a chorus of “Miss, miss, miss, miss, miss” interspersed with, “can I go to the toilet/why do I have to do this/my bad habit is to drink whiskey when I’m bored because I’m an attention-seeking adolescent who wants to shock you but can’t see that you’re clearly too traumatised by everything else you’ve seen in your entire 6 week teaching career that the only thing which would dent your psyche is if a kid shows you a photo of his bloodied head after getting hit by a pole and oh wait, that did happen and even then you repressed that for a while.”

 

It’s important to stay positive.  Very funny right?  Underneath this all, I am trying so, so hard to see the good side of this experience.  I know this is what I want.  I feel a deep sense of satisfaction from teaching that being a lawyer could never give me. Being in education feels like being a fish returning to the water after being starved of precious oxygen for so long and turning blue in the face. This is where I belong. All teachers are such nerds, life-long learners, super friendly and caring, I love it and I feel completely accepted for who I am at my school. I’ve never experienced this sense of calm fulfilment and acceptance that what I’m doing feels completely right.

 

It is amazingly difficult trying to get any of my horror year 10 class to do work, so the fact that I’ve managed to convince M and T, who are two completely disengaged and difficult kids, to work the hardest out of the entire class and experience success is amazing. I #*%(@% did it.  I’m trying very hard to refrain from using profanities on this blog now.

 

Despite all the setbacks, the exhaustion, the long hours, the horrific classroom behaviour of the students, the bureaucracy, isolation, loneliness… It was a big sacrifice but I know I made the right decision. Within the school, as a teacher and in education, I have found what I want to pursue for the rest of my life.

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