I love teaching. I honestly do. I can be having the worst day, and a kid will say something to break it and let some warmth in. I enjoy seeing how their minds work and grow and expand. I like the mental struggle, the gymnastics, of trying to make a topic fun and interesting, rather than well-worn and rote. It is hard work that I enjoy and if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it.
I am exhausted.
I have made so many mistakes in this past term, and they bear fruit in exam season.
Rookie mistakes, but it’s okay, because, as everyone tells me, I am a rookie.
I try to forgive myself for them. But that feeling of watching a mind expand and make connections? There is an opposite. It’s watching a mind be confused and uncertain, because something isn’t clear. For teenagers, confusion and uncertainty are devastating. They need grounding and solidity and there are times when I haven’t given them that.
I am not asking for pity or sympathy. I am acknowledging my errors. I am human and I have made mistakes. Some small and some large.
I ask my students to acknowledge their errors. I ask them, Do you see where you went wrong here? How can you avoid this next time? What can you do differently? I need to do it myself.
I need to acknowledge that I am not suited to on-the-fly planning. That I can be careless. That I need to sit down and think a thing all the way through, the way I like to, rather than responding to pressure and flying by the seat of my pants.
I need, at the end of my first term at a new school, with a new (significantly more challenging) job, to look back and see where I went wrong, so I can avoid it next time and do things differently.
Right now though, I am so tired. I am worn to the bone and my restless mind is so used to being left on cruise control that it seems to have forgotten where the brakes are.