One of my students asked me how I’m doing this afternoon. I told him, and the rest of the class, that I’ve been in a terrible mood for the last couple of weeks and can’t figure out why. We joked about how it was probably because of school and them, the class. Truthfully, I don’t know why I’ve been so sour lately.
My mood has been affecting my behaviour, as it would. I’ve been more dismissive, while also a little fierier. I’ve had to talk myself down from a temper. My patience for shit just isn’t there. Then, too, there’s the guilt, rumination, and worry.
Never before have I reached this point so quickly in the school year. We’re only three weeks in.
This worries me because the other day, I wrote in my morning pages that my passion for teaching has faded. The work has become a job. There’s a kindling of fondness but the embers are breathing red. Moments throughout the day remind me of what I enjoy about the profession, but the fire is not hot enough to satiate my hunger for something fulfilling.
The working day feels like a burden, a chore, a necessary means to a desired end. Carrying this weight leaves me tired. Nobody ever talks about whether Sisyphus enjoyed the view from atop the mountain. Did the boulder roll down the hill the same way each time? Surely, erosion redirected its course. Was weather also a concern?
I’ve already decided that I’m going to limit my involvement at school this year. The only extracurricular that I’m willing to do is with library helpers. I’ve never much cared for the committees but I’m even less inclined to pay attention this year. More than pointless, it feels hopeless.
It’s a tragedy. Education – teaching – is a wonderful profession, full of potential, opportunity, and growth. The other night, during curriculum night, a couple of parents told me about how their older children still remember me fondly. A compliment, of course, but I felt deceitful. Whatever impression was left with them, was put there by someone I’m not today.
Still, I care. I want to do better for my students, to bring hope into their lives and opportunities to their potential. I first need to figure out what needs to change, what path I need to roll down to get the best view.