Friday, October 23, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and...

For reasons I don't completely understand, I can't seem to help pushing myself into frustration. "Good" is never "good enough." No matter what I'm doing, I'm always looking for - and often finding - ways I could do better.

In some ways, this is very helpful. My students are working harder and learning more than they have in previous terms. Because of the projects I've had funded through donorschoose, I have more materials even though we had NO supply money this year.

But the flip side is that I end up pushing myself to the point of exhaustion (or past it) more often than is healthy. And I have an incredibly hard time enjoying success - or forgiving myself for failure.

Am I asking too much of my students? Or have I set my expectations too low? I feel like I'm constantly measuring, weighing, judging what I do, and it never comes out right.

Most of my feedback comes from my students, and it always annoys me. I feel like when they say good things they're playing nice, or else I haven't been challenging them enough, and when they gripe, they're complaining about having to work. Or it might be their mood that day, or hormones, or any of a number of outside influences. I don't expect them to know (beyond guessing) what strategies I'm even using, let alone how well I'm implementing them.

I have some fantastic work samples from our unit on Macbeth, and I'd love to see what other English teachers think about how well the assessment aligns with the standards and what level of understanding they feel the work shows. Dear God, I wish we had time for that.

But we don't. So I reflect pretty much by myself, while feeling like what I really ought to be doing is finding the USB drives that I need for Journalism (they fell out of my bag sometime during the week), or putting away the papers and books that I left on the kitchen table after we moved some furniture around, or emptying the dishwasher, or grading the Macbeth quizzes, or... oo, I hope there's nothing in the washing machine, or it's liable to be ucky.

There is always, always so much to do. And I feel guilty for not getting enough done.

I hope to goodness this is just PMS or something.

Image thanks to


Stageflutterby said...

I TOTALLY agree... I "took a year off" and subbed part-time last year to be a new mommy for a year, and now I'm back in the game full-time and just can't seem to balance it all! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who is experiencing it!

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