I think the problem I’m feeling in my current job is that I feel like I suck all of the time. When I was in school, I was getting the grades, I was getting the awards, I was getting the accolades. And now here, in this job, I always feel like I’m failing. The students are failing, so I am failing. I don’t have SIOP up-to-par, so I am failing. I’m not doing guided reading, writing workshop, Daily 4 – or whatever – perfectly. . . so I’m failing. I’m not contacting parents as much as I could and not grading papers and planning as much as I should, so I’m failing. And what do we hear from our society and legislators? Education is failing. Everywhere I look I am told that I’m a failure. That wears on a person.
And believe or not, I care about my students. So, when they don’t do well, I feel it. It hurts. I want them to succeed. I want to implement ideas and programs that work. Crazy, hmm? I don’t need someone to show me test scores. I don’t need to be told that there’s something wrong, that things need to change. Every day I wish things were better. And I actually used to believe things could change. . .
I know what we need. We need to overhaul the public education system. We need to create environments where students love learning and don’t lose their creativity and curiosity after kindergarten. Students should be involved in their own educational decisions and should be involved in their own inquiries and projects. And the government and corporations should stay OUT. I’m tired of people telling us what and how to think. We all need to think for ourselves.
Brian tells me that I really am a teacher, that I could really love my job in the right circumstances. Maybe. Maybe I’ll never know.