Counting Down the Days Does Not Make Me a Bad Educator

6:00 AM

I have many educator friends (both those I have met in real life and those I chat with through various social media channels) and it seems the general consensus is that this school year was rough.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly what has made this year so much tougher than others.  (Note: we're talking about the time prior to Covid-19 and shifting into digital teaching/learning, or the school year ending abruptly for so many.)  The weather was all over the place, there were primaries and debates being held, and it seemed that student behaviors and support (or lack of it) had been at an all time-high this year for educators.

For me, the biggest thing that had been weighing me down this year, and what has/had me counting down the days, has been change.  I was changed from a grade level that I loved, due to enrollment/numbers, and had to start a whole new grade this year.  Our Superintendent retired in November, so we have had an interim one since and a new one starting this fall.  Our principal announced her retirement as well, meaning a new principal will be starting the 2020-21 school year.  There is also talk of shifts in teams and section numbers, so I may be looking at new teammates, again, or high numbers in my classroom this fall.  And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of changes.

I had thought, more than once this school year, about throwing in the towel and calling it quits.

I care deeply for the students in my class, and perhaps that is why I was finding myself so exhausted this year.  I was fighting an inner battle every day, about why things in my classroom weren't going the way I thought they should, why my classroom management seemed non-existent, why my students weren't learning at the pace I expected.  I was asking myself every day "Why can't you do better?"

This digital teaching thing has just been another curve ball, one that I feel I have actually embraced a bit more than others.  While I don't like not seeing my students or teammates daily, there has also been something a bit "freeing" about not "going to" work and stepping into the building.  It's allowed me to tap into my creative side and handle my anxiety and depression differently.  I would get anxious as I was driving to school each morning, and watch the clock until I could leave.  Now, although I don't like spending my days in front of a computer and feel like an absolute dork reading aloud a book to a room full of no one, my anxiety has calmed.  I have the ability, and freedom, to step away when needed, to read my book, take a shower, self care, etc.  Now I actually feel like I am doing better as a teacher.

I don't want this distance learning to continue, it's not my cup of tea.  But, it has helped me put some things into perspective and has been a good change, one that I needed at this point in my life/career.

So, yes, I was counting down the days until summer in my planner before this virus hit the United States.  I was counting down the days until I felt like I could hit the reboot button, CTL+ALT+DELETE on the school year, and try again with new faces, new routines, new ideas, etc.

AND I am going to continue counting down the days, if we go back to the building this year, to help me cope with the changes that are still happening.  If we don't go back, I will still be counting down the days until I can drink a White Claw on my deck at noon without judgy eyes from the neighbors.

None of this makes me a bad educator; it makes me human.

by Sara from Draz's Class

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  1. It sounds like digital learning has been the best way to give you room to breathe. We all need that and no one should be made to feel guilty about it! Good for you that you got that space.


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