Sunday, October 12, 2014
Preventing the Fall "fall"
This is me this school year.... at least it's how I feel. Every year I start the school year with high expectations; for me, for my students, for my administrators and my school district. And every year I let those expectations cause me stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, disappointment, and sleepless nights. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in high expectations. But when the expectations are so high that they are unattainable, that's when my Fall "fall" starts, and I am my own worst enemy.
This school year started, as all school years do, with a beautiful feeling of a clean slate. A chance to "try it again". Another opportunity to be that "perfect" teacher I've always wanted to be, and yet always seem to come up short. So look out world.... here I come. THIS is the year!! And then the first Institute Day in August comes, and, CRASH! That clean slate just smashed on the floor. A new Principal, new Assistant Principal, 2 new Special Ed. Coordinators, a new Assistant Supt. for Special Ed., new school/dept. systems, Essential Elements for CCSS, a new IEP program and a new Teacher Evaluation System that is going to make even the most gifted teacher look like an amateur...... all of these things have worked against my Type A, control freak, anxiety riddled self. And down I go.
I want to be the best I can be for my students, parents, co-workers and administrators. I want to come to school each and every day excited about new adventures and new lessons to learn. But it all overwhelms me. How can I be the best for my students, when I am consumed with fear of inadequacy and my perceived inability to meet the high expectations of myself and those around me?
But I know I have to find a way. There is nothing I can do about the future.... I have no control over that. I cannot control new personnel, government mandates, state guidelines or district policies. These things will come and go with the wind. What I can control is me. I can control how I react to these things and I can control how I choose to let it affect my classroom. So, I am choosing to let it go .I am choosing to pick myself up off the ground. I am choosing to come to school every day ready to see my students. To be encouraged and energized by them. To ENJOY being in their presence and rejoicing in their growth. I might not be a "perfect" teacher, but I am the RIGHT teacher for the students I have the pleasure of teaching this year. I will let go of fear, anxiety, disappointment and frustration and let the future take care of itself.