I think people lied when they told me that this year would be easier. Last year, everyone kept saying things like, "Next year will be a breeze!" or "You feel overwhelmed this year, but next year will be so worth it!" or "Just wait 'til you have all this planning done, and you can pull it out of you filing cabinet and copy it." Lies. That's all I can say. I think that maybe this is because last year I was too naive to realize I should be more overwhelmed. Or maybe it's because I realize now that I thought last year was great, but I could have made it so much better. Either way, I know that Common Core State Standards have increased my working week hours considerably since the year started. And I haven't pulled one thing out of my filing cabinet. Dangit.
Now, I am not complaining, I promise. I know that you read that first paragraph and thought, "get over yourself, girl. Life's tough, work's hard, just quit complaining and get down to business." I agree 100%. I came home Monday evening from work feeling very sorry for myself. In my "poor me" state, I was totally prepared to mourn my sorrows in a blog post, but I stopped myself. I realized that I needed a couple of days of perspective before I blogged about our new curriculum and my new year. Trust me, had I written this on Monday, I would have lost all two of my avid readers.
Anyway, what this week of perspective-taking made me realize is that, yes, I'm coming home tired at night, but I'm also coming home more excited about what my students are achieving. I shared my plan for our first research essay in a team meeting this week, and someone on my team commented about what high standards I was setting for all my students, whether they be regular ed. or Pre-AP. I thought about that and realized that not only do I set the bar high for my kids, but I set the bar high for myself, too. This year wouldn't be harder than last year if I didn't think I could outdo today what I did or taught yesterday.
My favorite quote of all time is a Margaret Thatcher quote that says, "Well-behaved women never made history." We all have to break a few rules to get to the root of where we want to be, but there's also a great Thatcher quote that I found a lot of comfort in this week: "
I'm not changing my mind. Everyone did lie when they said this year would be soooooo much easier. However, I am apologizing publicly for even taking one moment to feel sorry for myself. What I've done before is not enough. I can only hope that what I will grow to do will be better, not easier.