Monday, March 10, 2008

We gotta get out of this place

There are 15 weeks of school left. There are 69 days of school left.

I am seriously considering my options for next year.

For a time, I was convinced only that I wanted out of my current position, but I wasn't sure how -- whether I wanted my own classroom in my current school, my own classroom in another school, or some AIS position. But since shortly before February break, I've fallen into this melancholic morass that I can't seem to get out of. It's like I've burned out at 24 years old.

The thing is, I'm not a bad teacher. When one of my colleagues taught her first graders about what she called "telling words," one of her students reported: "Miss Brave taught us this already. Those are called verbs." Another colleague told me that her students had said the same thing, and -- better yet -- when she tried to trick them by challenging them to define a noun, they answered: "A person, place or thing!" One of my new fifth graders recently wrote that she had interpreted the meaning of a fable by "reading between the lines" -- an idiom we had discussed the week before. A fourth grader whom I don't teach, upon seeing my Flat Stanley bulletin board, exclaimed, "I didn't know they had Burger Kings in Israel!" Despite the persistent feeling that I have no idea what I'm doing, my colleagues have complimented me on my creative lessons and my tone with my students.

Would it be easier for me to leave my job if I was obviously terrible at it? I don't know. Is this kind of thinking, six months into my first year of teaching, premature? Probably. But can I do this for another year? I'm increasingly convinced that the answer to that is no.


J said...

I'm pretty sure that every teacher in NYC has had that thought, every year. Or maybe just me. :) But especially the first year. I think you should definitely look for a new position/school--it sounds like another year in the same place would break you completely. so start finding a way out. Give yourself a second year to have a BETTER year (it will be, I promise!), and then go from there.

cbh said...

i often think of the part from the movie Freedom Writers where her father tells her she has been blessed with the curse of teaching... its hard to leave the profession when you know you are good at what you do. when you know what you are doing is impacting students and if only for a moment, making their lives better. i have said this before, but i think you definitely should stay in this profession. from your blog reflections i would venture to say you have "the gift"