Giving Thanks

I had a good day!

Shel Silverstein is wonderful

Last week was miserable. I felt completely overwhelmed and incapable. I felt like I was too stupid to teach and that there were so many bits and bobs to keep track of that I was dropping them all.
It was awful. I don’t think I have ever felt so terrible about myself and my abilities in my life.
(Considering how crap I have felt at other times *cough senior project cough*, that’s quite a statement).

Over the weekend, I blew off some of my anxiety by talking to other people about the things I’d done wrong. I got affirmations from my parents about how I’m “not the type who gives up on anything”, and how I just have to “keep on trucking and I’ll get there”. I got support from other colleagues as they mentioned their own bad days. My sisters have listened and supported, commiserated and distracted me throughout this whole thing, and have been, truly, great.

Two people were especially wonderful – One is already a teacher, and the other is in a different teacher training program.

The first has been massively supportive of me throughout this program. He has put up with me texting him at 7am when I’m on the bus, mainly because he’s the only person I know who is definitely awake at that hour and the bus is boring. Last Thursday though, I texted him at 7am because I woke up and did not want to go to school. I cannot remember the last time I wanted to do something less than I wanted to go to school that day. I had to drag myself through the morning, and simply could not cheer myself up at all. So I texted him. And he told me that he understood where I was coming from – which was wonderful because he does not seem like the kind of person who ever wakes up not wanting to do things. It made me feel much better about my own unwillingness to participate in responsible human life that day. He also made me smile before I got off the bus. The smile didn’t last all that long, but I was intensely grateful for it, and thought of it through the day when things were hard. It helped me to know that even though things were awful and I felt totally overwhelmed, I could still smile at silly things.

My second smile that day came when a student offered me a chocolate coin during lunch break.

The other person is someone who has helped me through many, many hard moments. He is in a similar program, but is one of the few people I know who is willing to admit to how scary teaching is. His ability to do it helps me do it myself. Teaching is a scary job, man. Not only is it intense because you’re standing in front of a class, but because, at least it seems to me, it’s about 50% knowledge (planning and prep and all of that) and 50% personality. Which means that when a class goes south, it feels like a knife to the gut because you failed. My god, it’s terrifying. He is one of the only people to have actually talked to me about his own fears that teaching is just too… big. The thing about this is, you have  to say “this is my fear” in order to be able to say “I am confronting my fear”. He allows me to say that – to take ownership of my own insecurities and doubts. He allows me to be a coward, and I cannot thank him enough for it. In allowing me to express myself as honestly as I can, I become capable of moving forward.

I guess I’m in a thankful mood because of Thanksgiving coming up.

As I said, I had a good day today. My classes weren’t perfect but I finally feel like the things I have learned are paying off, rather than walking around going “whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaat is gooooinnnnng oooonnnnnn?” all day and night. I’ve set manageable targets for myself, and even if I haven’t hit them perfectly in each class, I’m improving and doing what I can to keep on keeping on.

I am full to bursting with thanks for so many people in my life. So many people have been absolutely and completely wonderful to me throughout this rather trying time.
I want to express the fullness of my gratitude to everyone – I want to hug everyone I know and tell them how amazing they are and how much I appreciate having them in my life.


This entry was posted in advice, Edinburgh, experiences, personal, school, teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

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