Saturday, July 11, 2009

Catharsis and second chances and perseverance

Looking inward, moving outward.

I met with my phase 2 CT this week for dinner to catch up and hang out. It was fun. I miss our weekly meetings - something I never did with my phase 3 CT because I was at school so much of the time we didn't have to schedule something else.

Of course, through the teacher grapevine, she already know about my phase 3 failure of all failures. Still, it was nice to talk it out with some perspective. I did nearly cry in the middle of my narrative, but managed not to. And I tried to make the story as clear and as complete, without blaming anyone other than myself, as I possibly could. Whatever my personal feelings about how phase 3 went down, I really only have myself to blame for being stupid and slow on the uptake. I've been told multiple times that I've made lemonade out of lemons in this situation, but it's still a failure if the lemonade doesn't sell.

I did really want to quit teaching for a while there - didn't realize how much until after I've gotten over it. All the other hazards of the profession have nothing on this single fact: that sometimes, your life and your entire sense of self is so wrapped up in the job that each success in the classroom seems like heaven. And each failure seems like the lowest pits of hell.

It's nearing four months since that failure. It took two months to get out of the depression I was in. It took another two months - plus two holiday travels - to recover from the mental and physical exhaustion that added up. Four months total (so far) to recover from six weeks of phase 3. I haven't made even an outline of a plan for teaching in the fall. Which might be a good thing. For all my careful planning and the four hours I spent at school each day, in addition to the five hours of actual class time, to prep I still failed. If I fly by the seat of my pants will I make better decisions?

Somehow, I doubt it. I'll still plan, although actually following that plan to the letter is a different story. Still, I'm glad to look forward to teaching again. It would be an even more intense failure to quit now. I genuinely like teaching, boring meetings, unproductive budgets, social unbalance and all.

It's time to let go and carry on. Thanks, KM, for helping me through this step towards that goal.

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