Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oh the anxiety

In the one year in my class, my literacy students grew their reading levels two grades on average. On the end of the year exam for the school, my math students were 100 percent proficient and 100 percent of them showed growth. This is huge news for me. And yet, last night, I couldn't sleep because I had anxiety.

"What is this about?" I asked myself. All year I worried I wasn't a good teacher yet, and now I have great data (and data is a big deal), and I'm filled with anxiety? Shouldn't I be filled with glee? And summer is a week away! Come on, what's the deal?

And then I figured it out: I have been completely consumed with this job. I LOVE my students. My whole life for the past 10 months has been mostly about the classroom, and I have been exhausted and stressed, but I've also had so much fun and found it so rewarding... and it's almost over.

I am a first-year teacher and I am saying goodbye to students who are mine for the first time, and I'm feeling a little bit "What is this about? I work my booty off for a year and then they just leave? We have a good thing going!"

I teach a multi-age class of third-through-fifth-grade students so only 1/3 of my kids are actually leaving me. The rest are coming back next year (We loop together).  Thank goodness. I was drawn to teaching because there is so much change -- the year always ends, a new year always begins, but, man, I think I'm going to be shedding a tear or two at our fifth-grade promotion ceremony next week.

So many people thought I was a crazy lady when I made the career change, but I'm really glad I became a teacher. Now I need to shift my anxiety into excitement. Summer is a-coming!

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