In the Alamo

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 13 2011

Why am I here?

After spending three days trying to get my classroom in some kind of order (moving rooms was not fun..but on the plus side, I now have my own bathroom, sink, and lots of storage space. On the negative side, I only have 1 bookshelf), I am truly exhausted. Doing the teaching thing and making sure your family is taken care of is no easy task. I work at school and come home and work some more. It never ends, but I am not complaining. I have a job that provides for all our needs, and my family is healthy and relatively happy…I can’t ask for more than that. But sometimes, I wonder if what at I am doing in the classroom is enough. I am not a long-term planner, a to-do list person, a details person. I loathe structure and do well when I am left to my own devices. I am an improviser, a big-picture kind of person…so not TFA (I am an East in the truest sense of the word…with a little bit of South thrown in there). I see other CMs fully embracing TFA-ness, planning for the long-term, letting this whole vision thing encompass their life. I can’t do that. I drew that line in the sand last year, when I was on the verge of a meltdown because of my 16 hour days and virtually no time to do anything that wasn’t school related. I refuse to do that this year. I can’t put my mental and physical health in jeopardy again. I don’t want to strain my relationship with my family again.

This is when the guilt creeps in. What if I’m not pulling my weight with my grade level team? They are so amazing and such hard workers and I sometimes feel like I’m letting them down because I’m not long-term planning or looking for ways to overlap the curriculum, blah blah blah. I just do not have the time. Maybe if I had 10 extra hours a day, I could do it. But I have to spread myself thin on a daily basis and it’s tough to do more than just the basics (ok, a little more than that).

I guess I just have to keep doing what I’m doing for my kids and let the chips fall where they may. To quote myself (actually someone else said this, but I have no idea who it was), I won’t “drown in a glass of water” this year. I may not be the best planner on earth, but I’ll be damned if my kids don’t blow their goals out of the water. They will…I promise.

3 Responses

  1. Wess

    I think it just depends on what resonates with you. When you realize you need a strong vision, you need a strong vision. Before that, it feels a little pointless and you wonder what difference it makes. My vision this year truly will be like a lighthouse or … a north star, or something… but only because I was lucky enough to know 100% what specifically I want my kids to get out of life. If I weren’t this lucky, I’d feel just as directionless as I did last year.

  2. Wess


  3. G

    What I find so incredibly difficult are the details of that vision…sometimes I feel that my not being a big planner hampers my ability to focus on the fine points of that vision. I know what I want for my kids – now and in the future. I just find it hard to put it into words.

    It is time to represent again! We need to make our presence known here!!!

    PS – you are amazing…so is your roomie…hope you’re having a great birthday!

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Year 3, new grade, new school, still fighting the good fight…

San Antonio
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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