I have been out of the blogging scene for several months now, and I can’t even explain to you why. I still enjoy writing, I still love reading blogs, I still have ideas, but I’ve just been feeling rather meh.
Between suffering from imposter syndrome last year and then making a big decision to move to our system’s new campus this year, well, let’s just say it’s been a lot.
So I think I’m just going to have to force myself to write a few times a week and posts like this might be crap, but at least I’m writing, right?
Today I’m going to share what I’ve been up to and the feelings that are all stirred up.
What I’ve been up to
If you follow me on Instagram (@loudenclearblog), then you may have noticed I’ve changed jobs. I’m in the same district, but I moved out of my dream job as a high school instructional coach into a teaching role at our new campus–a college/career prep program.
I can’t stress how difficult this decision was. I was terrified to give up what I had been working toward (coaching), to move back into the classroom. Y’all, I know I don’t want to teach forever. I know that deep down in my soul and this year has just confirmed that feeling.
I really believe in what this new vision is all about. We have a HUGE district and many kids are not being served by the “all-academic everyone goes to college” mentality that we’ve been pushing for a few decades. Our demographics have changed and the world has changed, and we were just not meeting the needs of all of our kids.
So our idea is to proved CTE courses AND (eventually) integrated math and English courses so that our college-bound students are still being prepared and our other-bound students are getting the skills they need to be successful right out of high school. We offer fire & emergency science, skills trades, culinary, cyber innovations, and health science. The building is a marvel and the technology and equipment are a dream come true.
However, like any attempt at creating something new, we’ve had a lot of challenges. We teach one more class than every other teacher in the district. Not a huge deal–I know there are teachers out there with twice as many kids as I have–but it came as a bit of a surprise. Add to that the mixed level classes, English 10 and Adv. English 10 in the same class at the same time. I get it: teachers have been doing this for ages. But WE haven’t. Additionally, we have students coming from three different high schools, which has been really cool, but also makes tracking down their information and keeping up with them a bit more difficult.
Our building wasn’t really “ready” for us to be there–until close to halfway through the semester. So all of those annoying little things about new construction projects were hanging around for the first two months of school. We started the year with only one administrator (to handle everything from discipline issues to construction needs) and one secretary (doing everything from answering the phone to bookkeeping) to run a school of 700+ students. We have had logistical issues moving kids for their half-day at our campus and half-day at their own campus, some of which we just never even thought of.
All that to say…it’s been a ride for sure. I’m not trying to complain, I’m just trying to explain how tough this year has been.
On top of all that, I can’t help but thinking “have I made a giant mistake?” Should I have stayed a coach at my old school?
Don’t get me wrong, I have great students this year and I LOVE being part of a smaller faculty. Not to mention, as changes are needed, we get to make them! Our boat is so small and new, we can maneuver it wherever we want, versus the huge ship of our old school that was impossible to turn. Our faculty members are IN and our kids are (mostly) excited to be there. We have the most of the resources we need and many of our complaints come from being spoiled at our base campuses.
But still. It’s hard. And I question my decision every day.
I’ve learned that my brain just really isn’t cut out for teaching. I love my kiddos, I work my arse off for them, but I am a GIANT ball of stress. It’s all my own doing. I know that. I’ve read all the books and done all the things. And, even with taking plenty of time for self-care (trust me), I still can’t sleep, I’m still not eating enough, I still cry regularly.
Which tells me I really have to rethink my future.[OMG the SEO readings on this post are like “no! Stop! This is terrible! No one will read it!” Oh well.]
What am I doing about it?
Besides just trying to make it through and be the best I can be (more on this later), I’ve joined some helpful Facebook groups and started an online course for teachers transitioning out of the classroom. More on this in a minute.
My ultimate goal is to be an instructional coach/designer at my current school. We could really use that. We have CTE teachers who haven’t taught before who could use the support of a coach to help design and implement their curriculum. We have teachers in math and English who have ideas for integration but don’t have the time to get it all together–I could help with that!
In the event that this ultimate goal does not pan out, I will have to make a hard decision: to leave my school/district/safety. That’s gonna be tough, y’all.
Regardless, I know that someday I want a change, so the Teacher Career Coach course from Daphne has been super helpful. If you’re feeling the same way as I do, check out this affiliate link. I am totally behind this course for a few reasons: there are not a lot of affordable options out there for teachers who want to transition (I don’t have $2k for a career coach!), there are great resources (I don’t have time to do the research that she has already done!), she has a 30-day refund policy, and the support from Daphne and other members of the course is phenomenal. Even if you don’t join the course, I highly recommend her blog and the FB group(s) mentioned.