At what point do you need to put yourself first? When is it ok to say, “This is what I want, and I don’t want to do ___________”?
I’m at that point now. I have put in a lot at work each year, as I should be. No one has had to be as flexible as me; I am the only person who has had to make this many changes in the years that I’ve been there. I’m no stranger to being the new one of the team. I’m the one who has to learn all the new units, I have to either relearn much of the content or design ways to teach the content to the grade I’m now teaching. I have never complained at work. In fact, people comment often about how easy going I am and how flexible I am. When there were a lot of shake ups last year, many made sure to tell me that I was the only one involved who wasn’t upset about it and who was going in with an open mind.
For the most part, I get it. I even appreciate it; I’ve been exposed to a lot and I’ve gotten to work with many different age groups and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. But, I’ve also had to give up a lot and just do what others have wanted. If people want to be good at this job, they have to work. I completely understand that. But it is getting to the point of I’m exhausted and it’s because I’m having to do a bunch of extra work in order to do things that I don’t even want to do. It’s hard to really write about this without getting into the specifics, but I don’t want this to be a novel.
So I will say this. This year has been a lot of work. I love my kids. I love some of the areas that I teach. I’m teaching all new standards, so there is a lot of relearning on my part. There are other things, too, but I can sum it up by saying this year has been a lot of work, and a good chunk of it really wasn’t necessary. Why on Earth we have created more work for ourselves I really do not understand. And, if things go how they seem to be going for next year, I will have to play a major role in planning for something that at this point, I just don’t want to be open to. I am already stretched so thin I really can’t handle adding on extra stuff. And that is exactly what this will do for me. It’ll add more preps I need to plan for. It’ll add extra collaboration that won’t even be consistent. It’ll add more, more, more, more, more.
What I need is more focus. I need to let go of something in the day so that I can become more of a master at the subjects I’m passionate about and I can reach my kids better.
I want to be open minded and accepting. I feel like I have been. But I’m also completely exhausted. I can’t keep doing this.
So how do I balance this? Yes, I can look for another job (it’s clear to me what I need to try to go for). But I might not get one in the area that I’m endorsed in and I’m tired of jumping around, so I don’t want to get just any other new job. I know where I’ll be if I stay at this particular job. We’re in the planning phases now, but it’s clear some people won’t give and are only willing to move in a certain direction that I’m not comfortable with. I’ve always had to just give in in the past. But I don’t want to budge now! Not when I see something that could help me grow so much as a teacher!