Every year seasonal depression hits full force in February. Some of my friends always joke about trying to be prepared for the darkness that is February, and then it always ends up being this dark, depressing, sad, stressful month. Last February I was in the most intense hormonal roller coaster ever and to put it simply, a time of life I hope to forget and never repeat. February 2010 was when Bobby was laid off from his job of 10 years and began the 4-month long process of unemployment. And then in 2009, I sat on an airplane and said goodbye to the country I still refer to as home and to the end (or rather, the pause?) of a life-long dream. Needless to say, I practically break out in hives and start twitching when February approaches.
Stress and exhaustion came to a head early this year in January, before the normal February darkness. I still haven’t even fully processed everything because I feel like I am in information overload with graduate school, work, and other various events happening everywhere. I realize that people tend to walk the fine line of making his or her life seem overly awesome or utterly depressing. My blog is my place to vent and process, since I find it easier to communicate by writing than talking, but I don’t want to come across as ungrateful and in need of someone taking away my razors.
This year, the stress comes from work. While I am beyond thankful for a full-time job and working with kids, the pressures are different than I thought. I didn’t realize how much the system would negatively affect me. I thought it would be bad kids, annoying parents, and lack of support. I’m in love with my kids, their parents send me tamales and leave me alone to do my job, but the lack of support is worse than I thought. Even though I teach at the largest ESL populated school, my school also has the reputation for one of the least supportive of ESL. The tension and stress at the school is so thick, a couple of weeks ago I burst out crying while walking through the hallway- (thankfully I was able to run outside quickly). Truth be told, the TVAAS observation system has been the thorn in all teachers’ sides and has been the source of most of the stress. I’d be lying if I said I was the only teacher who has nightmares about it. We all feel like we’re jumping through a million hoops without exactly knowing where to go.
The Lord has given me a calmness through this pressure, and I feel Him closer than ever before. To me, my kids are precious people. I could go on about all the stories and things I love and things that I hurt for them about. Even though I don’t always know what to do, I love being able to advocate for these little people who normally do not get fought for. And I know it is not only my school, but the school system in general. The system sucks, but I am willing to stay and fight, despite lack of encouragement or lack of support.
Also, I encourage you to watch this video for a glimpse of my life. It definitely made me cry, thinking in particular of several students. I posted it to facebook but I’m posting it here because it’s THAT good.