January has always been rough on me. (Btw - Let's take a moment of silence to celebrate that January is now over!!) But this one has been really bad. Probably why I haven't written much this past month. Because, my brain:
I don't know if its because I survived cancer, or what, but now I'm hyper aware of sources of unhappiness and discord. I've spent considerable computer time googling career change possibilities and alternatives to teaching lately. I even checked out a career change book at the library.
Here some career possibilities I've come up with so far.
- Professional panda cuddler http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/help-wanted-professional-panda-cuddler/
- Music Copyist/Engraver/Preparer or Music Editor for a publishing company
- Quit working and go back to school to extend my music education credentials to....not sure what.
- pursue higher education. Ex - professor of....
- Dog trainer or coordinator for therapy dogs that go into schools for literacy programs (kids reading to dogs!)
- Writer (ha! Unrealistic. Let's go back to panda cuddler)
I've come to the conclusion that if someone would pay me to sit in a secluded area (with some pretty lamps, happy music, and coffee) and create music curriculum, lesson plans, and teaching materials for others, and occasionally let me out of my cage to interact with happy and excited students, that would be my dream job. I can't find any evidence that this job exists however.
I have found I'm pretty awesome at a couple things: 1. I'm super organized. 2. I can design the crap out of a music lesson (given time and resources).
I'm not awesome at these things: 1. Motivating students who don't want to be there 2. Being consistently interesting and entertaining 3. attracting respect and creating influential relationships.
Fortunately, today was a good day and I haven't drawn up my letter of resignation yet. But it has made me feel better to just sit down and look at my options. If I don't want to, I don't have to spend the rest of my working life being bullied by 13 year olds, which is what the past 3 weeks has felt like.
I've just really felt like, recently, that teaching is a very unnatural profession for me. I am sooooooo introverted. Teaching is constantly giving away your energy to others. It is so. emotionally. exhausting. And my bank is completely empty right now.
I've come across a couple articles on introverted teachers recently, and those have been really illuminating. This article expands on the idea of how introverted and extroverted teachers perceive their classroom differently.
Reward and punishmentUm. that teacher that can't concentrate because a student is rolling their eyes or sighing discontentedly at their neighbor: That. Is. Me. I am super aware of unhappy students. And I beat myself up over it. Now that I know that exists, I think it helps me cope. But I don't think it will ever go away. I will be this way, always. So why do I keep punishing myself by staying loyal to this profession? Shouldn't I cut my losses and do something else? Allow myself to be happy?
Yea, this has been my brain recently. Not that I'm going to get up and leave my job anytime soon. But I'm allowed to think about it, and consider my options.