September 16, 2014 by k. liz
Today I’m forgoing any helpful tools or fun activities. I’m not sharing any other blogs or inspirational quotes.
I just wanted to get on here and chat a little about what it’s like to be a teacher.
It’s my favorite thing in the world. But, it’s not always easy.
There are days when I wonder what on earth I’m doing. Especially in these long, slow start-up days of EDGE when I wish that students would flock to me, but instead I’m chasing them down with my stroller and limited Turkish. I’m stalking people who seem to be speaking a different language and then casually hand out invitations to my school.
I feel like I need to process some feelings in this space, and maybe that will finally demolish this lurking writer’s block that I’ve been suffering from.
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably figured out that I’m an ESL teacher. I’ve taught in Turkey and Senegal, and I am starting a new language institute in D.C. these days. Starting my own school has been an invigorating challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. Of course, I’d love it if everything fell into place perfectly, I had endless funds, and all it came down to was walking into my classroom, feeling a sense of ownership and pride, and teaching to my heart’s content. But that’s not how it is. I’m just getting by one student at a time, and even that is unsure.
I like to smile and put on a face that says, this is great! It’s my dream. I realize it’s hard, but it’s going to be so worth it. But, that face doesn’t always reflect what’s actually going on in my heart. Some days, I feel a strong sense of failure threatening to make me give up. Sometimes I wonder why I feel that my school, my ideas are worth the work. But usually, I try to disengage my heart from my work.
And, I realize, now that I write it, how completely counterintuitive that is. My heart is what set me down this pathway to begin with. My heart of helping students achieve their dreams, chase success, and feel empowered is why EDGE was born, and to take the heart out of it leaves me with only an empty shell of some paperwork, pending 501(c)(3) status, and lots of lifeless ideas. The heart is what makes the downs feel so much lower, but it also makes the highs feel that much higher.
So, forgive the petty little post of my feelings dribbling onto this space, but part of me needed the therapeutic ponderings to reach some audience, and preferably one that might not judge too hard.
I think my silence here has been two-fold. I’m not actively teaching, and so I tend to feel useless and idealess without the classroom stimulation. But then I was also struggling with real disappointment and a sense of failure. I didn’t really want to convey that to you, you readers who are left. But, I’m moving on. Am I teaching classes right now? No. Do I have leads on students? Yes. Do I have one girl that I’m meeting with regularly? Yes. Is her English improving? Yes. Am I moving towards my goals? Yes. Is life okay? Yes.
And you know what else? I’m coming back to this space. I miss it. I miss you. So, ready or not, I’m coming. I will see you here in a couple of days.