March 27, 2011

Valleys of death

(c) A Class of One's Own

When Melodie, the CEO of TFA, said that we’ll be going through some “valleys of death”, I dismissed it as hyperbole.  But right now, it’s pretty difficult and, although I’m sick of using this blog to complain, there are a lot of things which are just not working.

I have to keep optimistic.  To face the challenges.  There is no blanket at the school for me to figuratively hide under until things get better.  I can’t keep getting extensions on my university assignments.  I need to look after myself because otherwise who else will? 

I can’t wait until my blog entries sound like this:
Today was a great day at school.  I spent the morning writing up term reports for the kids.  I’m so lucky that I only had good things to say about most of them.  They try so hard and I’ve successfully built the relationship with them so they want to do well for me.  I feel more calm and relaxed in the classroom because all the IT issues have been resolved and I have a pencil case full of working white board markers.  My year 12 students are stressed but I’ve taught them a bit of meditation and they seem to enjoy it.  They’ve really matured since the beginning of this year. 
Instead, I feel this huge cloud of fatigue setting in.

Yes, I’m tough.  I can deal with a lot of stuff going wrong and just run with it.  I’m strong, independent, confident and pretty damn resilient.  You have to be in a program like this, which throws you into the deep, deep abyss of low-literacy students, a school which is totally broken, not enough support at all, still having to set high expectations, all the while adjusting to a new city, a new career, a totally new environment and complete goddamn university assignments.  That’s OK.  I was coping.  After each terrible class I’d think, “It’s OK.  You’ll do better tomorrow.  Each day the relationship will build up.”

But I really don’t think I have the emotional reserves to deal with the other stuff on my plate too.  I’m running on empty and I’m so glad there’s only two weeks left until the end of this term.  I’d like to get back to being silly, organised, fun, quirky and happy instead of this dark, horrible, frustrating person I am right now.

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