I love my job. I really do. Please don’t get me wrong. But 3.5 years without a break longer than 5 days is intense. You have to be “on” from the time you walk in until the time you walk out. For me, that’s from about 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. It’s a long day. I don’t teach constantly, but there are always kids around. And they want to have fun. Especially the kindergarteners. They love really high fives, when I hold my hand up high so they can jump. And once I get to the elementary program, it’s a different type of intensity. I really need to study grammar. So many times, they ask “Why teacher?” and I don’t have a good answer. I should be able to do better with grammar. It’s not like it’s a foreign language. I’ve used English all my life. But then again, I’ve never thought about it. The last time I studied grammar was senior year of high school, which was *mumble* years ago.
Sometimes I have no motivation. Other times I can whip up an activity or worksheet in 10 minutes. I just did that for my 5 year old’s science class tomorrow. We’ll be talking about the sense of taste. But mostly it seems like I’m banging my head against a wall and not making any progress. I know it’s my perfection coming out. I want (desperately) my kids to have fun learning English. But I don’t want to be a clown or an actress. I want to be a teacher. It’s hard for me to hear my boss say I’m a good teacher. Because, often, I don’t feel that way. I feel like a fraud.
So much of this goes back to my childhood. I know I have issues with self-esteem and perfectionism. I try hard to just say “Thank you” when my boss (or coworkers) say something nice. But in my head, I’m screaming at them. DON’T YOU SEE IT. I SUCK. HOW CAN YOU THINK I’M A GOOD TEACHER?????????
Am I crazy? Well, yeah. I’ve got my crazy meds and my crazy papers. But am I “crazy”? I don’t know how to answer that question. I doubt anyone does.
As to the post title, it’s time to decide whether to stay another year or go home and attempt to find a job. On the stay side, my boss has said she wants me to stay and she wants me to stay long-term (5 years, though I’d be on a year to year visa). On the go side, well, I’m burned out. On the stay side, I’d have to deal with my crazy family and the crappy job market. And since my best friend passed away on Thanksgiving, I don’t have any real friends to go home to. And on the stay side is the health care. We’re talking seriously cheap care here, but high quality. The day I fell on the ice, I got a full set of pelvis, knee and ankle x-rays plus a visit with an orthopedist for around 15 USD. My psych meds cost me roughly 40 dollars a month, including the visit with the psychiatrist.
Just looking, it seems like there are more reasons to stay than go. I definitely am at a good school. My boss is a bit nutty, just like me and we like to joke about it. The school is small, so I pretty much know every student by name. And the philosophy of the school meshes well with mine.
I need to make a decision by the end of the month. It takes time to find replacements and I want to give my boss every opportunity to find someone who she’s happy with if I do decide to go.