I've been playing by The Rules this year. I've been working hard to be good. I've stayed on top of it - as much as I've been able to.
Even during NaNo, I made sure to put in my time for school stuff before going off to write-ins or doing NaNo-related stuff.
And it's still not working.
I like teaching. I discovered that the first time I quit it. It's all the other crap I can't handle.
I wish I could do my job part-time: that would give me enough time to get my job done well in a regular, 8-hour work day. If I could teach four, maybe five classes a day, all the same subject/level, I would have time to do everything that is expected of me without ignoring certain aspects or cutting corners or giving up my life.
Because that's the part that's killing me. I like teaching, but I like my life. I have other stuff going on. I refuse to give up my self in order to feel successful at my job. It's a day job, really. And it's not the only thing I have, or want, in my life.
Right now, doing this well and having a life outside the school are mutually exclusive. And that's not going to work for me.
Today, I had a half-give up day. This afternoon, I've spent a lot of it wasting time. I have not done this so far this year. I do not check my home email or browse my Google Reader subscriptions until I get home. Today? Nah.
Now, part of the reason for popping on over to the home email inbox was because we were discussing crucial matters (the who, what, when, where of Christmas - when you're family is as big and complicated as mine, this is a serious issue that demands time and your full attention. Trust me). But, before today - before last Friday, when the penny dropped - even that kind of discussion would have waited until later.
I had a conversation Friday that made me realize this job is stressing me out. And it's stressing me out more than normal, because this time I'm doing everything the way I am supposed to be doing it. Before, when I was behind on grading and overwhelmed by the endless to-do list and harrassed by parents, I knew part of it was my fault. I wasted my time instead of focusing on grading stuff early. I didn't plan out my lessons ahead of time. I didn't do X and Y and Z the way I should.
But now I'm doing all those things, and getting the same results. Actually, getting worse results than people who do a much crappier job than I do. So how the heck does that work out?
So, here's me. Here's the towel.
Here's me, contemplating throwing it.
Do I suck at my job?
Am I too angry and inflexible to be in this kind of job?
Is this just the December blues, and everybody's feeling it?
Do I need to get back on medication?
Or start doing yoga again?
Cut out sodas and other sugars?
Or maybe I should go the other direction, and start drinking heavily?
We'll think about it.