Ahh… October. The month that I lost my voice and was delighted to stay at home and read, and relax and ride my bike because my classroom was such a disaster. October, the month I wished that I would get mono so that I’d have an excuse to give up for more than a few days. October, the month that I realized that being good in college didn’t mean I knew how to get other people to want to learn and had to face serious failure for the first time in my life. October, the month when I wondered if TFA had made a mistake in accepting me because I knew that my thoughts about my classroom were not what TFA wanted me to think. October, the month that I decided that I just couldn’t care about everything in my “sphere of influence” that TFA told me to care about because it made me crazy to feel responsible for every broken bit of the system I was in.
Things got better, but first there was October. Two years ago, I stumbled upon a very miserable blog post from “Drinking the Kool Aid” and talked to the teacher behind it on the phone to tell her she was not alone.
I let her read this story written about my first two years by a man studying teacher retention. She said it was the most helpful thing she had read because it was so real about how hard it was and the effect of failure on our own thoughts about ourselves. It also included the happy ending where my classroom got substantially better even though I’d obviously botched that all important first week of establishing classroom culture.
My story starts on page 81 of the dissertation you can download here. I promise that you’ll know you are not alone after reading it. The chapter on me is a story, the academic analysis comes before and after so don’t worry about getting bored
How is October going for everyone?