Today started with a great staff meeting about Cooperative Grouping structures and sharing and answering questions in small groups with other teachers. I love the district I am in and the amazing teachers I have worked with for 14 years. Just sitting around the table this morning talking with teachers of all disciplines who are interested in trying something new in order to best reach their students, it’s a refreshing conversation and makes me excited. I enjoy using cooperative groups in my classroom and have seen the benefits it brings to accountability for all students.
Overall today was a fine day, but it was overshadowed by my feelings of sadness. I miss my friends, the people I have taught with for so many years who just get me. Because of my position, I don’t really have lunch with anyone, so I’ve been eating by myself which obviously doesn’t help my feelings of sadness. Lunch used to be fun, relaxing and a time to relax before heading off to teach, now I just sit at my desk and work through my lunch because I don’t know what else to do. I know all of the math teachers in my new school because I have worked with many on committees over the years, but I don’t have the same lunch as any grade level really, so I can’t really crash their lunch and join in.
I am sad because I really miss the ins and outs of teaching, the planning, the organizing, the brainstorming with other teachers, making connections with students, etc. Sure I have one class of 6th grade students and I am co-teaching a 7th and 8th grade class, but this is sadly turning out to be the job that I was afraid it would be. I don’t feel like I am doing any good or even really working much and it’s driving me insane. I have another meeting on Friday along the topic about instructional coaching, which is something I am interested in…I used to think I wanted to teach teachers, but now I don’t even really know about that. I’ve been offering my services and help to the math teachers, with the new technology program, to assist with grouping students, really anything…and no one is biting. I can’t force them to want to allow me into their classroom, but what else am I supposed to do? I keep decorating my classroom and my poor 6th grade students already thought there were enough posters on the walls! 🙂
With everything else going SO well in my personal life, this is really giving me a reality check. I don’t have my Admin certificate because I knew a while back that I didn’t ever want to leave the classroom and this is just putting that into a clearer focus. I need to be around teachers, students and interacting about math and teaching. I can’t figure out how to get that in my current position. I would love to be a district level PD person or math coach even, but I looked for those jobs this spring and couldn’t find anything. I am so afraid that I am going to wilt away and be this forgotten teacher who once taught math pretty well.
Yes, I am aware that these are all crazy thoughts, but it really consumed me today and here it is 9pm and I still haven’t gotten over it. I know it will all be okay, at some point…but right now I am struggling to see the light, to see how I can continue to make a difference in the lives of my students and to help teachers in this new position of Math Specialist (also called Math Interventionist). I wish there was more direction, like this is the job we want you to do and do it this way. All of this freedom and do what you feel is best doesn’t work for me. It’s my type A kicking in. 🙂
So I will breathe slowly, take a deep breath and try again tomorrow. It’s a new day and can only get better.