It’s two weeks before finals, and it’s unfortunate to admit my life feels like this cliche of a comic.
Thinking, and now writing, the following sentence feels very 13-year-old Michelle who is unable to express deep emotions with eloquent words, but here it goes anyway. Teaching sucks.
Dealing with 15-18 year-old teenagers is exhausting. They stare blankly into space, ignore your questions, sleep, and worst of all, don’t try.
Dealing with 12-13 year-old kids is also exhausting. They’re loud, energetic, and require a lot of guidance. Thankfully, they try. They may cry, “teacher, too hard!” but they do their work (for the most part).
The worst part about teaching is how thankless it is. I stay up late, come in early, work on weekends, and try so damn hard to make lessons somewhat enjoyable. I enter class with a positive attitude, then some smart ass walks in 7 minutes late because “I was in the bathroom” who then continues to talk to his friends the entire time and/or sleep. Y’all, I thought I was patient but it’s a whole other level when dealing with thankless children. I don’t know how many times I’ve said the following line, “I’m not doing this for me. I can speak English, so wake up!”
With finals around the corner, my workload has tripled. I leave work breathless and dizzy because I can’t even keep up with my never-ending to-do list. I feel like I am literally drowning in work. Kids don’t care. They’re clueless!
In the past, my terrible work experiences were mitigated with funny, confessional chats with co-workers. However, I don’t have that relationship with my current coworkers.
Backstory: While creating our midterm exams two months ago, one co-worker admitted that he “purposely belittled me” because, and I quote, he wanted “to teach me a lesson.” He interpreted my proactive behavior of creating two tests in one week as “standoffish,” “rude,” and “pushed him to the sidelines.” Because his feelings were hurt, he decided to be condescending, raise his voice to me, and not listen to any of my suggestions. He never thanked me. Instead, I got an ear-full of criticisms. Yeah, so. I don’t talk to that guy.
My other co-worker is really chill, but there is still some distance between us. He has this “no-new friends” attitude, so I respect his space.
On top of that, I go home to a lonely, single bedroom. My life feels like a sad cycle of:
Things feel especially difficult now. Once finals are done, and everything is graded I know things will be better. It’s just hard. I envisioned teaching as a breezy lifestyle, but it is not.
I’ve always respected and admired my teachers for their guidance, but I am now in awe of those who made this their career. This shit’s hard, y’all! Please, go hug a teacher friend, buy them their favorite coffee, check in on them, buy them a cake, and tell them thank you and I love you!