Caroline in the Delta

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 06 2010

Worst day of institute version 2.0

Today was a series of worst moments and almost-tears. This included a heavy heart carried over from weekend conversations, very poor management implementation during school, a disappointing observation, my computer pooping out for half an hour (hard drive crash? everything frozen after 5 re-starts??), and an overall defeatist attitude.

I walked around campus moping, then somehow something clicked and I decided to take a little more ownership over my emotions. Let’s just think about Emerson:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.

Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.

That last one, oh boy. Every day is a fear. Fear I am failing my students that need me, fear I have ended up in the wrong place, fear I will end up quitting, fear of judgement, fear of success, fear of failure… Emerson, man, he knows what’s up with my life.

I somehow found a spark of humor in my overwhelming day. Honestly my lesson wasn’t that awful, my emotional wreck of a day wasn’t the worst I’ve had. It was just some accumulation of negativity bursting forward for no good reason. I know better than to let it get me down for too long.

I spent some time bonding with Meggie Hanks, who’s instituting over in Chicago and had just as rough of a day as I did, but she’s with third graders and only in week three (I’m in week four) so I give her a bit more credit. It’s nice to find camaraderie in disappointment, and encouragement. We know we will be good teachers. We know we are working hard. We know we are here for good reason.

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