Middle School Hero

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 26 2013

It never ends.

I am literally smack dab in the very middle of summer. I haven’t taught for almost a month and it’ll be three weeks before I need to be back in OKC.

This should be the very definition of “the dog days of summer”.

But even though my body is spending this time in Utah, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, and Costa Rica, my mind still hasn’t left Portable 6 in Oklahoma City.

That’s not the kind of person I am. I think I’ve said this before, but I’ve always been the kind of person who’s reveled in being completely present. I’ve always been able to shrug off a bed test grade or intramural loss in time to be fully on board with whatever comes next. I graduated college and within a day was ready to be at Induction. But here I am, a month past year one and still stuck, unable to lodge the past year from my memory.

I don’t know if this last year has changed me that much or if this is just a challenge the likes of which I’ve never seen before, but I can tell it’s having an unhealthy impact on who I am. It’s clouding my self-perception because I can no longer accurately view myself outside of the paradigm of “Dalton as a Teacher”. The summer is the time for “Dalton as a reader” and “Dalton as a traveler” and “Dalton as a social being” to come out but all those incarnations are stuck waiting for the teacher to get off the pot. It’s been frustrating and I really want to find a way to put the experience of last year to rest so I can move forward. Unfortunately, this doesn’t feel like summer- it just feels like an extended prelude to next year.

One Response

  1. Ben

    I think what you are experiencing is normal, albeit unfortunate. The summer after my first full year of teaching, I literally could not stop thinking about the year that had just ended. In particular, there were a few very negative moments that kept replaying in my mind throughout the summer. Nothing really helped to rid me of that obsessive thought other than starting the next year and focusing on the new group of students I had to work with. Even this summer I am finding it hard to let go of last year, although I am not as obsessive about it as my first year. Maybe it’s something that gets better in time, at least hopefully. Good luck.

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Chronicling teaching middle school English in OKC

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