The Graduation Rollercoaster

I received my cap and gown in the mail last week and I could not have been happier. After all my hard work in school, graduation is almost here! A few days later I received my honor cords and tassel pin from NSLS and I was beaming. After all these years, here I am, about to graduate with my Masters with honors. My husband has been nothing but proud of me throughout this whole process and he tells anyone and everyone that I have a 4.0 GPA, that I truly enjoy what I am doing, and that I am going to be an amazing teacher. Honestly, I have never been more excited than right now.

And yet…..

I think I’ve been feeling a little down for the last week or two. I have applied to a few jobs, which admittedly have been long shots, and there has been no response. I will begin to broaden my horizons to more realistic goals once school is over for the summer. I contemplated taking some summer classes, even enrolling in a few, but have since changed my mind. I am currently in this weird limbo where I’m not sure what to do about adding more endorsements – start now or wait to see if my future employer can offer financial assistance. But, the biggest downer has been the fact I cannot find a summer job. Lame, right?

Then came the cap and gown, the honor cords, and the pin. Just the boost I needed! Look at me, with all these accomplishments! Nothing boosts the ego better than a little self-recognition. Then came the email stating all graduates will receive eight tickets. Eight tickets…. Eight? Who are these eight people I am supposed to invite? All I did know is that I needed to have my hubby and my bestie there. That was a given. Of course, his parents are going to come too. And that’s when my mind started playing its evil tricks on me. I tried not to dwell on the fact that I would not have parents there. I tried not to dwell on the fact that there would not be any of my relatives there. I focused on just how damn proud my hubby and bestie are of me. Their love, pride, and support are more than anyone in the world could ask for.

So, why the long face, Seabiscuit?

Because sometimes life can be lonely. And it sucks. And I don’t have an explanation for it. It’s not about feeling loved because I feel that tremendously. However, there is a certain solitude sometimes that is hard to explain. Recently I was reading an article about the most important things to do in your first year of teaching to avoid burnout. Suggestions like breathe, don’t be too hard on yourself, and over plan were the words of advice I expected. Then the article slapped me in the face with “Call your mom. She loves you and is proud of you. She will cheer you up and make you remember why you are doing this” or something along those lines. Thank you Education World, I appreciate that advice.

Needless to say, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Then yesterday my funk blew up into a temper tantrum that might rival that of a toddler. Why? I’ve just become overwhelmed with this sense of loneliness. I feel like an orphan on so many levels. And it’s hard to explain to people without sounding depressed or angry. I’m not depressed. At least I don’t think so. Although, I may be a little bitter. I’m bitter about lost connections. I’m saddened by people who stopped trying. Did I stop trying too? I suppose I have. I know life gets in the way for everyone, but there are some people who really try and others who just don’t. And that hurts.

I have been thinking (and overthinking) about everything and I do know there are plenty of people who support me and are proud of me. I am by no means saying I do not appreciate these people in my life; I really, truly appreciate them. But, I sometimes feel like I am standing in a crowded room of strangers. It’s kind of like arriving at a busy airport or train station looking for the person who is supposed to pick you up. You are surrounded by people, and often times they are nice and even helpful, but they are not who you are looking for. It’s that void, the anxiety of waiting for the person to pick you up, that I sometimes feel in life. It’s hard to explain and I’m not sure my analogy did it any justice, but it’s a start.

Here’s the irony of my situation. I wholeheartedly know that when my name is called at graduation my bestie will be cheering the loudest of anyone in the entire auditorium (I mean, have you met her??). I also know that I cannot wait to lock eyes with my hubby when I am standing on stage because I cannot wait to see that “You did it!” moment that will consume him. So why am I in a funk, you say. Honestly, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like it really comes down to an internal battle of quantity versus quality. Again, hard to explain; that was my best attempt.

I would apologize for the less than uplifting teacher blog post, except I’m not really sorry. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about all this and I just wanted to get the words out. It’s my blog and I can post my thoughts, whatever those may be…. Spoken like a true toddler wrapping up a tantrum….. *insert foot stomp here*. I guess what I am saying is that I needed a place to talk myself through this whole situation. There is a lot more to it that bothers me, but I know people have busy lives perusing much more entertaining social media outlets. So, if you did actual get to the end of this post, I would like to thank you for listening/reading. While I may not have clarity, I do feel better expressing my frustrations. And I suppose that’s a start.

 

Three Day Weekend… Finally! 

Monday was President’s Day, so there was no school. I have been so busy lately, I didn’t even notice until last week. I happened to look at the school’s schedule and there it was, that color-coded day to indicate there was no school. And that made my morning! I was definitely ready for a three day weekend!

We submitted edTPA just about two weeks ago, and that was an exhausting process. And now we are in the purgatory known as waiting. Our scores should be available by March 9th, but I am hopeful it will be sooner. So hopeful, in fact, that I have already begun checking the website each morning, which is probably contributing to my restless sleep the last few days. I just really, really believe I will not receive a passing score. I felt so rushed during the process that I have convinced myself I either forgot to upload a file or maybe didn’t answer a question sufficiently. What I did wrong is irrelevant, I just have this lurking feeling that I will not pass. As much as I try to chalk it up to jitters, I just can’t. I have accepted the thought that I may have to resubmit part or all of the edTPA and I am ok with that. I just want to know, ya know? And hopefully, I am wrong. Hopefully, there will be passing score and y’all can say “we knew it!”. I really think it’s the unknown that is playing with my head. I guess time will tell.

Aside from edTPA drama, student teaching is going well. I have found my niche in the classroom and I have become much more comfortable. And I really do love the kids! Every morning in the hall, I greet them as they are chattering with each other and scurrying to their lockers. I feel very Tami Taylor a la Friday Night Lights and it’s wonderful. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were struggles. I can’t seem to get through to them with comparing fractions and it’s bothering me. Is it me? Maybe because math isn’t my strong point, they can sense it? Should I be doing something different? How can we move on? I worry that we are spending too much time on this and I want to move on to adding fractions. But, that’s tricky; too soon and everyone will be lost but if I wait too long, I’m going to lose the interest of the ones that do get it. Decisions, decisions. I am glad math will be the last class I give back to my cooperating teacher because I’m hoping to see this fraction dilemma through. 

On to breaking news, I have a job! It’s a temporary, substitute job… But it’s a job, aka income. Yay! Immediately after student teaching I will fill in for a leave of absence through the end of the school year. It is as a Reading Specialist for a middle school at a different school. I’m glad to be gainfully employed for two months but I’m also looking forward to the additional experience at a middle school. Can’t hurt the resume, right? I’m also on the lookout for a summer job. Oh, and also one for next school year. So, if anyone has any leads, you know where to find me.