I was absent from my job for about 5 weeks following surgery if one includes Christmas vacation. I have been back at work for about 8 weeks. It stands to reason that things should be back to normal; they are not.
For some reason I cannot get back to normal. “Normal” in this case means that I am not physically, emotionally, or spiritually exhausted. I cannot seem to escape the well I fell into last November.
I have a class, my first class of the day, that has more problems than any reasonable person would ever lay on a group of children. One of the youngsters is perilously close to being expelled and he gives me credit. Somehow he has never learned to take responsibility, and he has had way too much responsibility put upon him. He regularly draws from my well, and never helps to replenish it.
I get email out of the blue accusing me of this, that, or the other thing, and I know nothing about the subject. Nevertheless, I am assumed to be guilty. At least the email comes from purported friends… I couldn’t take it from enemies. This empties my well, and no positive email arrives in my in-box to replenish it.
The well I am speaking of is a metaphorical well of ‘well-being’. I tell my students that when the well is low because many people are drawing from it, they don’t want to be the one whose cup scrapes bottom. It seems that we are scraping bottom just about every day I come to work.
It is the nature of teaching that there are tough days, tough weeks, even tough months. February for example, should be struck from the calendar for a number of reasons. This seems to be my time for a tough year, and I do not expect things to get any better. The freshman boy is question will call me obscenities in class until he gets expelled, and it will be my fault. His mother will reinforce that view of the world. Several former colleagues will go out of their way to remind me that I am ‘just a teacher’ now, and I won’t be allowed to block their email addresses. My only hope at this point is May. I don’t seem to have enough ‘good days’ to build up any sort of reservoir. Every bad experience finds me empty again. I don’t like feeling this way about a job I love. I shouldn’t go to work and be rewarded with pain, but there you go…
I think I’ll take a personal day and rent “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”, couldn’t hurt. But wait…I have no more personal days, they take those first when you are sick. If any sees my ‘groove’ I guess you’ll have to send it back, I don’t have the time or energy to look for it anymore.