Marching along instead of hunkering down

It is one of those points in the year.  I am exhausted, uninspired, and unfocused. This is a familiar place, one that I naively think I can learn to avoid. Yet it is a natural part of the rhythm of the school year for me. It would be great to be able to move through the year without the valleys and then recharge during summer, with winter and spring breaks providing renewal along the way. It just does not work that way for me, or most teachers I would venture to guess. I am not that special or unique.

Experience also tells me that if I can just put my head down and move forward, even a bit, try to make it through a few days or a week, something will come along to give me my next burst of energy and excitement. For now, I need to take the path of least resistance, doing the things that are coming easiest and getting finished what needs to be done. The weight of my world is enough to carry at the moment. No need for extra pressure.  That may mean letting go of my daily goal of excellent classes in order to survive to teach another year.

The best part about times like this is that they lead me to feel greater empathy with students and with colleagues. I need to realize on any given day that my students may be wrestling with the burnout demons, or some personal issues that take all of their attention and energy. The same is true of colleagues. It is a helpful reminder to lend a hand and try to help someone along when the going gets tough. Impatience is counterproductive.

This is what I love about blogging. What began as a post of despair has ended in feelings of hope. I did not expect this to be something I would want to publish when I began writing, but I decided to trust the process.

We are all in this together.

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4 thoughts on “Marching along instead of hunkering down

  1. We have all been there, nothing to be ashamed of. I didn’t think you would get to the point where you did with the post, but I’m glad it is where you ended up.

    At the end of the year, I always try something new to keep my interest and energy level high.

    Good luck, you can make it!

    Greg

  2. Thanks for your comment, Greg. I was not always so willing to admit the cracks in the armor. Some recent conversations with a colleague have led me to see the value in openness, honesty, and process. I have long realized the importance of reflection. I just do it more publicly now.

  3. Molly, thanks for your honesty and thanks for sharing. I am feeling a little overwhelmed these days…it feels like a big race to get ready for the AP exam (content-content-content) and also we have states coming up for National History Day. Not to mention prom, senior projects, and seasonal allergies. THIS is why teachers get a break in the summer. We need to recharge and gain inspiration for the fall.

  4. It’s always a relief to hear of others going through the same thing. I’ve had to make a conscious effort over the past few weeks to be more creative and engaged in my lesson planning, not just hunker down. Something I’ll be focusing on for the rest of the year.

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