Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 09 2012

In which I have metaphorical ants in my theoretical pants

I don’t quite know what to do with myself.

It’s 7:06 PM on Sunday night.

(Hell night.  Sing it, teacher friends.)

It is way too early to attempt sleep, even with a friendly sleep aid.  I have done all of the work that I can reasonably do (I’m more or less planned through the end of September, my plans and worksheets for the week are printed, my lunch for tomorrow is made, I’ve already cooked a pot of soup to consume for dinner this week, and I can’t grade their notebooks if the notebooks are in NoCo and I, quite obviously, am not.)  I need to shuffle plans around for the next barrage of district mandated testing, but I can’t do that until they tell me when I’m testing.  I need to write a novel unit plan for November, but the novel is somewhere in the bowels of the school.  I could do grad school work, but I’m already 4 weeks ahead, and eventually I start looking over eager when I’m really just bored.

To top it off, I have this jittery, antsy feeling.  It’s like I drank a lot of energy drinks, when in reality the last caffeine I consumed was a cup of coffee at 10:30 AM.

I’m so antsy that the only thing that worked to soothe me today was two hours of crocheting and watching BBC costume dramas on Netflix.

[I am playing with a bobby pin as I reread this.  I have now dropped it 3 times and amused myself for whole seconds by searching for it in my carpet.  This can't be healthy?]

Maybe it’s because last week was more of a struggle than the weeks before.  But even then I keep reminding myself that one mildly rough class a day (in which no one is throwing things, blatantly cussing, or running around the classroom in circles, and if they do any of those things I am actually both permitted and encouraged to send them out of the room) is better than the six disaster classes that I was facing daily by this time last year.

Maybe it’s because I planned like a fiend for 12 hours yesterday, so that I could be far enough ahead to play for the next two weekends without feeling unduly guilty.

Maybe it’s because we’re facing our first state visit on Tuesday, and I have “You’re Still Ineffective” PTSD from last year.

Maybe it’s because I spent this entire weekend of beautiful weather wistfully watching people run towards the park as I dragged my omnipresent boot up and down the quadrillions of steps in my elevator-less apartment building.

Maybe it’s because I know that, as of tomorrow, my grading stack will be replenished, I’ll have the resources to plan more, and all of my handy excuses will have evaporated like so much St. Louisian humidity.


I realized today that a mere six weeks ago, I lived a life of laziness in which I had excessive free time and no problem amusing myself by doing nothing.

Will this bizarre juxtaposition persist forever?  Or do teachers eventually find balance in Year 3?  4? 5? 20?  When do we stop neglecting ourselves, not to mention our parents, roommates, house plants, chums, siblings, acquaintances, significant others, and pets for 10 months of the year?  Good gravy, some people have offspring – how do they pay attention to them when they’re running the marathon-sprint of the school year?  When do we learn to stop fussing and smell the daisies, for Pete’s sake?

Or is this 0 to 100 life style mine for the rest of my teaching career?


It’s 7:31.

29 minutes until Friendly Sleep Aid.


Now where’s my bobby pin?

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    Teaching by the arch

    St. Louis
    Middle School

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