It’s August 1st. That means another school year is about to begin.
I know teachers who are ecstatic right now. I know teachers who are a little bummed but still excited. And I know teachers who feel like they have rocks in their stomachs.
I happen to be a member of the third category.
I want to get out of teaching, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it. I actually do love it. I think that at least part of the reason I want to leave the profession are these back-to-school fears.
So here’s what I fear about returning back to school.
- Waking up ridiculously early. To make the 40-minute drive to get to school by 7:30, I have to get up pretty darn early. Granted it gets later and later as the school year progresses, but it still feels unnaturally early to me. It’s exhausting.
- Going to bed ridiculously early. Waking up early also means going to bed early, especially when you’re someone who gets crazy grumpy if you don’t get enough sleep. (Hint: That’s me!)
- Having to hold my pee. During the summer, getting to use the bathroom whenever I want is a luxury. It’s a luxury that I don’t get during the school year. The start of the school year means that I have to redevelop my teacher bladder–yes, that’s an official term.
- Devouring my breakfast and lunch. I wake up early, so I inhale my breakfast. I get like 25 minutes for lunch, so I inhale my lunch. It becomes habit, so I also inhale my supper. It’s not healthy, and it certainly doesn’t help me actually enjoy my food.
- Not being enough. This is probably what gets me the most. I taught one year, and then I basically became the head English teacher at my school. I teach all of the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There’s another teacher who teaches freshmen. I’ve never really had someone to tell me that I’m doing okay; thus, I constantly judge myself and always feel like I’m just not enough.I’m not nice enough. I’m not funny enough. I’m not tough enough. I’m not passionate enough. I’m not covering enough material. I’m not covering the right material. I’m not preparing students for college or the workforce. I’m not involved enough. I’m not good enough. I’m just not enough.
This is a hard feeling to live with, let alone overcome.
I’m sure that I should end with something uplifting, funny, or profound or that I should at least attempt to give this post some decent closure, but I won’t. My fifth fear is the ugly truth, and sometimes you just need to face the truth even if it makes you ugly cry.