In high school, I ran track and cross-country. I remember two kinds of races...One was the kind where you turned the last bend and found yourself sprinting, calling up some unknown reservoir, "kicking it in." The other was the kind where your legs turned to jello and no amount of effort could drive you towards the finish line faster; it felt like one of those horrific dreams where you just can't run despite being chased by some fantastic villain.
I'll give you a moment to predict (a little OCR nod for the teachers out there) where I'm going with this.
Right now, we are undoubtedly on the final straight: 8 school days left. But ever since testing, three weeks ago, now, I've just felt like my teaching legs have turned to rubber. Before school, during school, after school, my productivity is almost nill. Even after a 5 day break from teaching, I still just want to watch T.V. after my long day. (And I don't even like T.V.) I feel like inertia alone is carrying us through to the end of the year now.
Every night, I come home and find myself with almost no interest in planning solid lessons. Every morning, I have tremendous difficulty dragging myself out of bed and busily preparing all that needs to be readied for a good day. Even during the day, I just don't have the wherewithal to move my kids into high gear. Today, I found myself zoning out while reading aloud to the class.
To be honest, and don't tell TFA, I don't even feel that bad about it. It's been almost a year since this all out sprint began. Admittedly, I feel like I'm horribly shirking a professional obligation to make the most of every minute of instruction, but I also realize that if I feel this ready for vacation, my kids must feel only more so. Their misbehavior no longer seems an expression of frustration or maliciousness but apathy. It's not that they're bored or upset, it's that -at this point- they just don't care. I realized mid-year that I had to continually vary things up to keep them engaged, but I think by this point that there isn't sufficient variety in the book to keep their eyes on me. It's school itself that need to be varied. Varied away to vacation. Varied to a new class, classroom, and teacher.
I need the same. The part that I'm most ashamed of is how my thoughts are filled with Next Year. We have such grand plans for Next Year, things are going to be so much better Next Year, we're not going to have these problems Next Year. But this year is not over, the finish line is in sight, but some how keeps getting farther and farther away... 8 more days... 8 more days...
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