There are moments during a young teacher’s barely budding career that lead her to question, reconsider, or even despise her career path. I actually and quite literally am not at liberty to discuss my most recent moment, despite my itch to do so. Instead, I want to discuss the ramifications of this moment.
Someone may or may not have done something bad. (See what I mean?)
I feel like my heart was recently broken (just a little) and is in a state of repair. Every new day (hell, every new hour) has been revealing and healing. In these moments trust becomes a huge issue, and I have found myself approaching the classroom with a relative timidity. The funny thing is: I’m not the “someone” in the overly vague statement above. I’m not the one potentially in trouble. But because I’m a tender-hearted sweetie (sigh), I feel every bit as culpable as the person in question. I also feel betrayed and a little insecure about extending trust again to others in my classroom. It’s a horrible feeling, and one I’m sure more seasoned vets would mock (at least a little bit).
Immediately after my moment happened, I told several people that I hated my job. But I don’t hate my job! I love my job! I frankly have more fun at this job than at my other one (as a student), and I think it’s because I’ve mentally moved to a place where I am ready to be the teacher rather than the student. Mentally. Realistically, I still have another gigantic hurdle to jump before anyone else will agree with me about my readiness as a teacher. It was the simple fact that this moment led me to question my love for my job that really has gotten under my skin and made me a bit gun-shy. Perhaps it’s for the better, but I’m not sure that I’ll approach my job with quite the same amount of open-armed excitement and joy.
Also, I’m embarrassed. The moment could have been avoided if I had been more careful. And I do blame myself for that. However, I also know that despite my own lack of preparation and caution, I did not force this particular moment to happen. So, if there is culpability (and for now that’s a big ol’ IF), I am not the one who will be wholly responsible for it. Consider the lesson learned, though. I’m already creating new, stricter policies for my new policy statement.
And now, some words of wisdom from Kong-fuzi (Confucius).
“Zai Yu was sleeping during the day. The Master said: ‘Rotten wood cannot be carved; dung walls cannot be troweled. What is the use of scolding him?’ The Master said: ‘There was a time when I used to listen to what people said and trusted that they would act accordingly, but now I listen to what they say and watch what they do. It is Zai Yu who made me change.'”
This is the lesson I feel that this recent moment has beaten me over the head with; too bad I couldn’t just seem to learn it from “The Analects.” Maybe next time.