September 9, 2010 – Hatred of Once-Love

Copied from a quick scribble before school this morning

Last night, I was woken from a weary just-fallen-asleep by the cat knocking the lint roller from the bathroom counters and I found myself in the saddest of moods. A realization had settled upon once again and it set me to weeping into my pillow.

I am becoming a robot.

Once upon a time, I swore to never teach just to the test, but it is now what is required of me. My students are tied to the textbook in order to pass the Benchmark assessments required by RtI. I find myself so despondent and beaten down over this that I have no desire, no energy to try to make it “fun and exciting” beyond the occasional Jeopardy review game. And that hurts. A lot!

All I could think of as I cried was Juliet’s wail, “Proud can I never be of what I hate!” How can  I be proud to be a teacher when I hate what and how I have to teach? The more I think about it, the sicker I become at the realization that, for the most part, I hate teaching now. I am good, very good, at what I do. But, in truth, it’s not my first love. The literature is the thing for me. If I could simply discuss books all day long, I would be – as Anne Boleyn proclaimed – the most happy. I could probably figure out a way to achieve goals through simple book discussion and socractic seminar, as others have surely done before me, but the powers that be would never heard of me ditching their textbook and standards. It’s like I can no longer see the forest for the trees and so I think the time is coming for me to cut my way out of the jungle. I can tell I’m getting upset because my handwriting is becoming illegible so I’ll stop here.


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