I know there are stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Though I am not personally dealing with a loss, I do feel down. Maybe it is a kind of depression, a kind not associated with loss. And I wonder, are there stages to depression? And if so, what stage might I be in? I think I’d call it the Numb Stage. I usually am an optimistic person. When a student whines, “Do we have to do that?”, I reply with an encouraging smile, “Yes, you GET to do that!” I see tasks as fun. I see collaborating as fun. And I always get positive energy from helping someone else. At least I used to.
Lately, I find myself being more annoyed than excited. I find my push to be helpful slowed to a point where I feel I’ve been injected with Novocain.
It could be because I live outside of Washington, D.C. where local news is also White House news. For the past eight years, my local news was filled with hopeful Obama government-sponsored stories. Now, it is the opposite and somehow feels 100 times worse. I’m embarrassed by my government leadership. I find myself dreaming about moving to a better country. But also I’m wondering if there is one. This makes me numb.
It could be because this is my 26th year as a teacher and I’m just getting tired. I can feel the shift. I am feeling set in my ways of doing things that I know work. I do get annoyed by others, especially when their way may be better for them but I know it isn’t better for kids.. Also, some younger teachers lack the drive to figure things out. If I read another question posted to the TCRWP Units of Study facebook page asking a question that can actually be answered by just searching the TCRWP website themselves and/or reading the unit of study books themselves, I’ll scream. I’m embarrassed that they are asking something, that to me, seems they should to able to figure out on their own. Yet, I guess I could not be so annoyed and instead, be moved to help them. Yet, I’m too numb.
It could be that I attended the TCRWP MS/HS Book Club Institute and was placed in a Vietnam War Book Club. I spent time yesterday reading more of Walter Dean Myers’ book, Fallen Angels. The horror he describes. The horror that still occurs today on parts of the globe. So much horror. It is a lot to take in. It makes me numb.
But today is a new day. . The sunrise adds lovely pink stripes to the pale blue sky. The brisk fall air as I walk to work numbed me but as soon as I enter my school building, the heat thaws me. Today Middle Schoolers make me laugh. Today I keep going. Maybe the numb stage is ending.