This has got to be the most messed up conclusion I've ever come to: Breaks are bad for my mental/emotional health.
In the past two years I've developed a healthy routine of work, exercise, chores/errands, and sleep. All of these aspects of my life work in tandem as long as I'm on the usual five-day-a-week work schedule. As soon as this gets upset with a break, it throws me off. I think this is particularly true in an environment that, when I really stop and think about it, I'd rather not be a part of.
Going to have Thanksgiving with friends, and reminding myself of what home is like (for someone who moves around A LOT) really made me feel horrible when it was time to come back for work.
This happened on a much smaller scale when I taught in Seattle (somewhere I REALLY enjoyed teaching), but now that I'm somewhere that I have so many negative feelings associated with, it REALLY messes with me. I think the gloomy weather in DC also has something to do with it.
It's interesting how these things work. There are good things at my school. I like the people I work with; I generally like my kids and teaching on most days; and I get a strong sense of satisfaction out of what I do. It's just these humongous negatives that cloud my thoughts and seriously mess with my emotional health. This is a really challenging time. I keep telling myself to focus on the positive and choose a positive attitude. And that works - to a degree. But there's this underlying tension that won't go away, and it rears its head after breaks and on Sunday nights.
I need to get out of this, I just don't know how.
Last night I received an e-mail informing me that I have a million and one things to do in order to be a decent teacher in my department.
On top of that, I was told that the unit we'd been working on for the past two weeks (trying to meet this school's standards for planning and instruction) is essentially worthless and we have to use lessons and materials from some website instead.
My reaction was to send an e-mail in response venting all of my frustrations with these expectations. On top of that, a few teachers and I have been attempting to have union meetings in order to combat contract violations occurring at our school.
I think this is my last gasp. If these meetings and our e-mails produce some change in the way things are handled, staying until the end of the year might be a good idea. But if nothing changes, I'm not sure I'll stay past January. I don't feel like I'm a teacher. I'm a robot at an educational factory. The school is considered VERY EFFECTIVE, and the kids go to college, but I'm not supposed to do what I do best: teach creatively.
Even as I write those things, though, I feel like I'm considering giving in to failure. All these other teachers are going to stick around, why can't I?
I don't know. I'm lost.