Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4:27 PM | 0 comments
Tomorrow I start at my new school. While it may be hard to see on the outside, I'm actually a bit of a wreck. The anxiety, fear, and insecurity from September have all returned and I'm feeling more than a little burnt out already.

While it is true that it's all come back, it's also true that it isn't as intense as it once was. For a little while in September I thought I was going to die. This isn't much of an exaggeration because I was barely in control of myself to the point where I went for medical help. This time around I've put in a lot more "flight hours" as Scott calls them and I'm feeling more calm about everything.

I still don't want to go there and I'm super-pissed about leaving my first school. The problem with being angry is that I have no one to be angry at other than the system. It was neither my choice nor theirs that I had to leave and hopefully I'll be back for next year.

I think there will be a good amount of support at the new place, though. I've met one or two people that look like I can rely on them and instead of reinventing the wheel, which I'm totally guilty of doing last semester, I'm going to borrow much more heavily from others, particularly for my history course as I'm not certified to teach it. I feel a bit guilty about doing that though it's the smart thing to do. I don't know why I have this unrealistic attitude that I'm supposed to emerge from teacher's college with full binders and ten years of experience. It's stupid. Hell, I've even seen Scott go through other binders for assignments so I don't see why I shouldn't do the same (and Scott is the best there is).

So the new semester starts tomorrow. I don't want to go. I REALLY don't want to go, but I know Catherine is counting on me to make it through my first year. I owe her and myself that much at least. I wish it were easier than this, but I'll make do. Everyone says the first year is about survival and I've made it half way.

If you can, try to help me make it through the rest by continuing your support. It means a lot to me. And to Catherine, who could use a break.
Posted by Parallel
Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM | 0 comments
Yesterday I finished marking the last exam papers that my grade 11 class wrote. It represents the culmination of more than four and a half months of work and a broken bottle of emotions that I thought, at times, was going to rip me apart.

Without a doubt, that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. The volume of work, for one, was astronomical. It doesn't help that I maybe put a bit too much effort into some of my lessons, but at the same time I can't really see myself doing much less because of some odd standard I've set for myself.

But, with pride, I can say that I survived my first semester of my first year. For a few weeks at the beginning, I didn't think I was going to be able to do that. No one, except for maybe Catherine, really understands how much pressure that was for me. How hard that was for me. I was an emotional wreck.

Rather than give up, I feel like I succeeded. And not only a little bit, either, but a great deal. My students threw a going-away party for me, complete with cake and a gift. The staff, including Mary Jane and Doug, bought me going away presents and gave me cards. Mary Jane and Doug even sang a song they wrote about me to the tune of U2's "One."

I didn't want any part of that school when I started. I didn't like the school, the people, the commute, any of it. Most of that was my fear talking and the lack of guidance that first month didn't help. However, now that the end is here, I can say that I learned a lot, worked hard, and developed professional relationships that were invaluable. It's funny, but now that I have to go I really want to stay. I don't know if it's because my first school is that great, but rather that I'm comfortable. That I earned my place there through hard work both in my own classroom and in the school community.

Now I have to start all over again. I'm not really thrilled about going to this new place because of a bad first impression with a couple of the staff and the general attitude being thrown about this supposed academic institution. That said, Doug freaked me out at first and wound up being one of my closest friends there. Life can be funny sometimes.

So I'll do my best to keep an open mind and to get through another semester. While I feel it cosmically unfair to be thrown into another anxiety-riddled situation in so short a time (this is essentially my fourth school in a year and a half) I know that I don't have a choice. I'll do my best.

My first year is half over and while I feel nearly burnt out already, I'm hoping the energy that comes from being in a new school will give me a bit of a boost. I have to hope that otherwise I'll quit now. I'm beyond exhausted. On top of all of this, I want to enjoy the fun and pleasure that comes from getting ready for my wedding with Catherine. This kind of stuff makes it hard to do, but we're going out now to look for rings. I may wonder sometimes about what I've gotten myself into with teaching, but not for a moment do I worry about my life with my girl.

And that, more than anything, will get me through. Thanks to all of you for your support.
Posted by Parallel
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