I wrote this post at the end of last year. I have no idea why I didn’t post it. Maybe because it is so honest. I have returned this year thoroughly refreshed, ready for a new start and have a strong focus of not allowing my work to crush me in the way I felt at the end of last year. I felt crushed as a person and as an educator. As the school year ended I headed over to England to be with family to celebrate christmas, new year, a wedding and to farewell a dear person in my life who had passed. As I was driving to the airport, I didn’t have a song in my heart, I wasn’t excited about my new adventure or could I smile. Then I got a work email which shook the ground I walked on. Why was I even looking at my work emails, I do not know. The person who sent it had been giving me grief for a couple of days. The content of the email was unnecessary, it wasn’t important, life changing or would make a difference if I had sorted it that day or in the New Year. I felt miserable and I shouldn’t have. I remember the moment when I felt some excitement about my journey, it was about 1.30am just as I was walking towards my plane. I took a photograph of my cabin bag and neck cushion in the airport bar and wrote ‘finally excited about my trip’.
I hope this year ends on a better note and I walk away from here with a skip in my step and song in my heart because I wont be able to do that again.
December 13, 2015
Ok, I have a confession I am really bad at keeping my blog up to date. I have many excuses and none worthy of putting up here. I am not going to make any resolutions about how I am going to improve this as this will just add more stress to an already flat out stressed human being.
It is seriously a tough journey in education at the moment because of the need for massive change to raise student achievement, a complete pedagogical shift and system changes to support all of this. We should be winding up and celebrating our year except we are not, we are too exhausted and have lists of things to do before we can pack up and go home for the year.
Change is so important to help reach each students potential and raise their achievement levels in a personalised, authentic way. There is so much that goes with this, along with teaching our students how to operate in a new environment where their voice is much more important than it ever has been. I celebrate this. It is hard however to celebrate my profession when it drains me and makes it so hard to find a balance between work and my family life. We, in the profession, are terrible at looking after ourselves in even small ways like having lunch, sitting down in a place that comforts us. A relaxing morning tea and lunch is rarely possible. Then we have the added distraction of a media and government who don’t support or celebrate the efforts put in by so many amazing individuals.
It makes me rethink my position and whether I want to continue doing the work I do. This was particularly highlighted to me when I watched my neighbour being carried away in an ambulance because he was seriously ill. Life is so short, how do we take care of ourselves in this profession. We all know what we need to do. We just don’t do it.
Anyone reading this blog, who is not in education, will not empathise with a teacher feeling this because of the so called school holidays. I would not be able to do this job without the holidays, this is a time when my family find their mum, grandma and partner and receive quality and quantity of time with her. A person who is able to do the things that makes her a whole person, the right person the authentic person that I strive daily for my students to be the same. I also work a great deal in this so called holiday.
I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that I will try for another year and see how this goes. We are doing amazing things in my school and student achievement is at the heart of it. We are also building the capacity of our relationships with our Maori families. These are things to celebrate.
Maybe I am just burnt out and done.