Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Spring Break Can't Come Soon Enough

I sometimes wonder what is motivating me in my drive to have a baby RIGHT NOW. And, before anyone reads this thinking that they will get lovely ruminations on baby toes, and the wafting scent of baby powder, pastel blankets, contented baby sighs, and strolling in the sunshine with a baby snuggled in its sling as you wave to passersby and play fetch with the dog with your perfectly fit and back to better shape than before pregnancy body, be warned that what follows is a horrible, horrendous vent about a horrible, horrendous couple of days. Don't say you weren't warned....

On days like today, I worry that it is my burnout and stress from work talking, driving me toward the best break from teaching I can come up with. This school year has taken so much out of me. From the stress of the crisis in leadership within our division (which reads like the stories of school systems like Hartford, Dallas, Miami, NYC or LA rather than the nice, genteel city that we are) to the number of times I have been asked to speak on behalf of my members on issues that I don't fully agree with, to the number of times teachers have been publicly bashed in the media by parents and community members, it has become too much. My students this year are a particularly difficult bunch of kids, and I haven't clicked with them in the way I normally do. With nine weeks left, I finally feel that they trust me at the level I have normally reached by October.

But today was the final straw. All pales in comparison. I have been interviewed for the news three times in the last three days, bringing it to a total of 10 or 12 times in the past three weeks, and now have another interview scheduled for later this afternoon. I was taken to task by the guidance counselor because she felt that a Child Study meeting did not go well yesterday--despite the fact that I have suggested numerous times that guidance counselors should run child study, and she rebuffs it every time. Apparently, she doesn't know enough to do it herself, but she is expert enough to tell me how to do it.

After we finished our calling on the carpet in front of five of my students (very professional of her) I went to my computer to log on and check my email and jot down a phone number. My keyboard and monitor were coated in a thick, white sticky substance. The open bottle of Elmer's glue led me to deduce that the sticky substance was glue. As I began to dismantle the keyboard to see if it could be cleaned, the distinct smell of urine began to waft out of it.

I reported it to the principal, since it happened after school yesterday. Because I inadvertently left my door unlocked when I left school yesterday, there is no way to pinpoint how and when it happened. Our assumption is that the custodian who was fired yesterday for inappropriate flirting with female teachers thought I was the one who turned him in and retaliated with a final expression of his devotion.

Even though I was not the person who complained about his behavior, it seems that I may have become the scapegoat, likely because I am known to be a lesbian, and that comes with a lot of stereotypes of man-hating, vindictiveness, and bitterness.

The nice thing is that by lunch time, I had a new keyboard happily plugged in, and was typing away, working on grades, and updating IEPs.

Today, I would give my right arm for an excuse to not work full time next year. I wait impatiently to hear if I got into school, and even my father agreed yesterday that it is time for me to take a year off of teaching. As a 34 year public school educator, and current state teacher of the year, he is my mentor and best advisor on all decisions work-related. He was worried when I told him three months ago that I plan to quit my job, but after hearing how the last 9 months have gone, he agreed that I need some time away. Since I can't switch divisions without a major uproar (the president of the education association leaving to teach elsewhere sends a powerful message), he agreed that leaving to go to school fulltime is the cleanest, most honest exit I can make.

I only hope that in addition to grad school, there is soon a little one to explain away my exit....

2 more days until spring break. Dyke Two just called me and told me to figure out what I want to do this coming week to make it more relaxing. We are off to a black tie benefit dinner Saturday night, which involves a stay in a hotel for the night. (Her favorite treat!) Now, I get to decide what I want as my treat. Right now, I think just knowing that the dress I wore last year still fits may be treat enough for me, though a massage sounds pretty appealing too. I feel like a fat brood sow because of all of the stress eating, lack of exercise, water retention, etc that this crazy school year has brought me.

If spring break does not cause a noticeable improvement in my mood and stress levels, it may be time to get back in touch with my doctor for a referral to a therapist for a tune-up. My old one has closed her practice in the years since we worked together, but it might be time for a brush up on my stress management techniques...


Post a Comment

<< Home