I have been following your and Beth's posts for a long time. I have learned so much!!
Thank you for sharing this particular post. I took on way more responsibilities than I should have this year- partly because I was so excited about the direction our reading/writing program was going!
Last March I began incorporating literature circles/buddy reading from what I had learned from prof.books and your and Beth's models. It was great-I really wasn't nervous-though I did spend an awful lot of time researching and preparing..Long story short-our campus was ready to implement a new approach to our LA program via Reading/Writing Workshop. We had extensive training late spring and throughout summer.
Everything started great and then come end of Nov. I began to feel anxiety-as I am the chair of LA committee and I felt it was my responsibility to have the answers for my co-workers. I was part of the text book adopt. comm. and that took a lot of time, plus several other things. I have 4 GT students that I needed to extend- and one is the son of our GT teacher who had helped me with my experimentation with lit.circles, etc. I felt (and still) feel like my ideas, etc. are not detailed or good enough- and spend hours trying to develop something spectacular-and end up not accomplishing anything to put into action- or it feels disjointed. I also had a student teacher from Jan.-March and felt I had to be more "perfect" as a teacher.
A fellow teacher who is very wise-just said to me the other day- I have raised the bar on myself from last year. And your post helps put all of this in perspective- and it makes sense. I'm trying to please my principal-who has put a lot of faith in me-and the mother of one student who is so good at this-I felt she expected more from me- and from myself.
You are right in that family, personal health and growth, and also my students have suffered.
I think there are many teachers out there who are going through this.
Thank you again for sharing your experience. I have to admit that I would ask myself how do Angela and Beth do all this. I wanted to be where you both are in your teaching abilities- and lost site that this takes time- and that you both had probably experienced setbacks, etc.
Your story has helped me stop and reflect on re-evaluating my priorities and just getting back to moving forward with my teaching and letting my students' needs and responses help guide me.
I wish you all the best!
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