The pressures of teaching all caught up with me yesterday: Coming in late in the school year, getting to know the kids, their backgrounds, the pressures they fact and the expectations placed upon them – or in some cases lack thereof; report card grades coming up and preparing for my first formal evaluation all hit me with the force of a Mack truck.
I literally worried myself sick.
The truth is, I
think know that I have dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had trouble sleeping. Even as a kid, people told me I was a “worry wart”. I was so intimidated by my second grade teacher that I worked my stomach into a tizzy throughout that entire school year. A few years ago, I was prescribed anti-depressants which may have fixed a short-term problem, only to hide something I’ve been dealing with all my life, namely anxiety.
Yesterday was my breaking point. Enough is enough, I decided. Yesterday was the last time I will ever allow myself to make myself sick. I’m seeing my family doctor in two days, which makes me feel better about things.
The one thing I’ve always said, even when I had my teaching job down South is that education programs do not prepare teachers for the psychological aspects of teaching. It’s not an easy job. Teachers take their work home with them every single night. their kids become a part of their everyday lives. Sure you get weekends and summers off, but you don’t get to take long lunches, or cut out early or even go to the bathroom whenever you fee like. I know this may sound like whining, and maybe it is, but I’m ranting.
A LOT has happened since last I wrote. One-and-a-half weeks ago, I was offered the job in Eastpointe – the one I didn’t even apply for. I interviewed on a Tuesday; completed all my paperwork on a Wednesday and was in the classroom teaching on Thursday. I worked all of last week and that brings us to the present.
I have to admit, it’s far from ideal circumstances. Work is a 1 1/ – 2 hour drive from where The Auteur and I live; so I’m staying at my parents’ house during the week, and going home on weekends. The first coupe days weren’t so bad. I worked two days and went home for the weekend. This past week was my first full week of work. After living together for the last year, being away from The Auteur for almost an entire week sucked. Doing that again Monday through Friday this week – and every other week for the rest of the school year – seems almost too hard to imagine. I know, I know – I’m being a little melodramatic. Truck drivers go through the same thing. Military families have it even worse. The thing is, I don’t drive a truck and I’m not a soldier, and I want to be home.
This wasn’t an easy decision for us to come to. And yes, this is something that The Auteur and I discussed at length. The truth is, I need this job. I need it for The Auteur and the life we are building and living together. I need it for The Kid – so that I can be a good father to him. Finally, I need it for the sake of my career. Sure I had a few years experience under my belt, but that ended 6 years ago. Employers are going to start asking “What have you done lately?”; so this will be good when pursuing other jobs in the future.
All in all, I feel like I’ve taken a small step backward in order to make several giant steps forward. I’ve talked at moderate length before about wanting to get started with the rest of my life. Maybe its finally happening.