Saturday, January 16, 2010

Leaving it At School

My first year changed me. It made me so angry. I was angry all the time. It was directed at the students, at myself, at my girlfriend, at strangers and at the world. Last year I'd go home after a tough day (most days) and bring everything negative with me. Thoughts of misbehaving students would plague my mind late into the night and I would get visibly and verbally pissed trying to pull down a lesson plan for the following day. Doing that made life unnecessarily terrible sometimes and certainly affected how effective I was in the classroom.

By the end of the year I felt as though my general disposition had shifted to something that I certainly didn't want it to be. I was pissed at the school of education, at my students, at myself and at pretty much the entire world for allowing such an impossible job to exist for a rookie teacher. The whole thing sort of built up on top of itself until I was edgy, impatient, and irritable.

You'll see a lot of older teachers in the field angry and bitter with years of nonsense, unrealistic expectations, and unruly students (among other things). I'd imagine the outlook also comes from years of a grinding realization that you can never do enough- that as much as we try, students do fall through the cracks and criticism of the profession from all corners of society is increasing. Whether that's the case or not, the feeling I had wasn't so deeply rooted, but was instead a reaction to one really bad year in the field.

The fact that this year has been better than the last has helped me to release some of the negative feelings I was harboring. Even after the worst day this year I can leave it at school, go home and do what needs to be done without freaking out about miscreant children. Whether I've become more used to the biz, better at controlling my temper, both or something else,I'm better able to leave school with a clear head, relax and get things done at home. It also helps to know that at the end of the day- at the end of the year- things are going to be just fine. Last year I didn't know that was going to be the case.

Today's Wine: Duck Walk Vineyards Boysenberry Fruit Wine. We picked this one up on one of the wine tours we did on Long Island last year. It's tart, not too sweet and pretty great after a meal. I don't think it's widely distributed in stores, but I would recommend visiting the winery if you're ever at the other end of Long Island.


  1. Just being yourself and realizing that it's impossible to be perfect helps a lot. The wine helps too.:) May I recommend a nice Murphy Goode cab?

  2. That's good advice. And I'll definitely look for the cab, as the last recommendation was a home run.