It has been a while since I have posted, almost two weeks to be exact. I have started a lot of posts in my head, but have never been able to sit down and type. Part of the reason is because my laptop officially died (I knew it was coming), so J and I have to share a computer, and part of the reason is because I am so tired, I have no motivation for writing. Or, I feel like I am only going to be negative, so I avoid writing to come across as whiny or inconsiderate or – worse – a bad teacher.
A student today asked me what I wanted to be a teacher. To my dismay, I could not give him a straight answer. I finally joked that I really wanted to be a three ring leader in the circus, and teaching was the next closest thing (to which another student replied, “can you go to college to be in the circus?”). In all seriousness, though, my Facebook status the other week was something to the tune of “I am not sure I am cut out for this teaching thing.” I think I scared a few future teachers with that. One girl that I know who is a senior English secondary-education major at SU told me her status scared her. And I didn’t mean for it to scare anyone, especially not anyone who is looking to become a teacher. I responded to her that I have good days and bad days, and the day I had made that my status was a bad day. Unfortunately, I vented my frustration via a public forum, so it was easily misinterpreted.
It is true, I have good days and bad days. There are days when I feel like, “okay, this isn’t so bad, I can do this,” and days when I think, “how am I going to get through the rest of the week, let alone 30 more years?” But in actuality, I have good days and bad days, but no REALLY good days or REALLY bad days. Most days are lukewarm – a little bit better than yesterday, or a little bit worse, but all in all, rather tepid. I’m not burning, I’m not freezing, I’m just going along, getting through each day, looking forward to one more day closer to the weekend.
I don’t like this lukewarm feeling. Honestly, what good is it to be lukewarm? It makes horrible bath water, disgusting drinking water, and is all in all, a rather useless temperature. But that is how I feel about teaching right now. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it . . . I’m just getting through it, one day at a time. But I wish that something would happen – a day would turn to ice, where I just cannot wait to get home, or I burn myself with something exciting and fiery. I want there to be a day where I break down screaming or crying, cursing myself for choosing this profession, or a day where I scream “YES! YES! YES! THIS is what I have been waiting for!” But neither of these days have come. True, I have had some moments where I have been on the verge of tears or a mini-breakdown, or days where I come home and tell J all through dinner the funny stuff that happened with my students that day. But all in all, each day is like every other, fading into the next, an endless sea of lukewarm, gray water.
We are almost through the first nine weeks, which means I have a quarter of the way through the school year (and my first year of teaching). I am praying that between now and June, something happens that lets me know whether or not this is truly what I should be doing. Am I cut out for this teaching thing? Sure I am. I can handle it. I can deal with it. But I want to do more than just deal with it . . . I want it to be what I was made for.