Sisyphus visits my preschool classroom

Wow, you guys are the greatest.  I had more than twice as many hits as usual yesterday, after my “all the ways I suck” post.  I really appreciate the support, sympathy, and commiserating you offered.

No, I don’t really think I suck as  teacher.  I know I’m a good teacher.  The problem is that I will never be done, and I will never be quite good enough because I could always do better.  Some days those thoughts exhaust me.

Yesterday was one of those days when I wished I could have twelve uninterrupted hours in my classroom, all alone with just Adele on iTunes to entertain me, so I could get the whole room clean and organized, and do all my lesson planning and preparation for the next few weeks.  Scratch that; twelve hours wouldn’t be enough.  Twenty hours?

The point is that teaching is one of those professions where you never really are completely ready for everything, and you’re never really done with anything.  There is ALWAYS something I could do better.  Some days, the Sisyphean aspects of my beloved career are frustrating.  Although, unlike Sisyphus, I know that the work I’m doing has a purpose, so that helps.

Angela in particular was very supportive in her comments, so you know what I did last night?  I got online and bought her book!  It hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait to read it.

So here’s to you, my blog friends, and to all teachers who keep rolling that boulder up the hill.  We do know, down deep, that it is all worth it.


2 thoughts on “Sisyphus visits my preschool classroom

  1. Hey, Kiri! Thanks for the kind words. I hope reading “The Cornerstone” encourages you even more. 🙂 Let me know if you have questions as you read.

    I think you’ve hit on something important when you say “The problem is that I will never be done, and I will never be quite good enough because I could always do better. Some days those thoughts exhaust me.” I’m not a parent yet, but I imagine the same feeling occurs with one’s own kids (hence, so much ‘mommy guilt’.) Anytime you have a job that’s never really DONE because it’s so open-ended, you run the risk of feeling like you’re falling behind. That’s a really tough thing to grapple with.

    I’m finishing up my second book this spring (called “Awakened”), and it’s about the very issues you (and I think all of us as educators) are grappling with these days: How can you feel good about your work when some of your students are failing? How can you feel empowered when standardized testing and district mandates take away your freedom to innovate? How can you feel satisfaction when there is always something more to be done? These quandaries are at the root of our stress, and if we can start to make sense of them, we’ll be able to let go of unrealistic standards and expectations and enjoy the job.

    I could go on and on (obviously I’m very passionate about teacher morale!) but I’ll get off my soapbox here. Just know, once again, that you’re not the only one struggling with the issues you’ve posted about. I love what you’ve said about knowing your work has a purpose. When you tap into that and stay focused on it, everything else seems to fade away and all that’s left is connecting with the children. That’s where we’re happiest and where they’re happiest. 🙂

  2. Kiri, I know exactly how you feel. There is always so much more that could be done, and since we all want the best for our students, we feel that those are things that SHOULD be done, whether it is realistic or not.

    Don’t get downhearted. Your kids are very lucky to have you.

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