eliza-sla

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 12 2009

Teacher Guilt

So here’s the thing. On the one hand, I absolutely and completely love my kids and I’m still having a ridiculously fun time up in front of the classroom. On the other hand, I have such overwhelming guilt – because there’s so much paperwork and I find it so intimidating, and it seems so inextricably linked with the job that I can’t help but feel like even if I’m awesome up in front of the classroom, I’m still a bad teacher. And I can’t be a bad teacher, because these kids can’t afford to have a bad teacher. I’m jealous of my time with them, teaching from bell to bell and angry when it takes too much time to do anything other than teach. I just – I’m already having sleep issues and dreaming of lesson plans. If this is what guilt is doing to me a month into teaching, I can’t imagine what it will do to me if I don’t succeed in raising their test scores.

In other news, I am, apparently, the relationship adviser for our school’s preteen LGBT contingent. I don’t know how it happened. I’m a little shell shocked, to be quite honest. One minute I was eavesdropping on the gossip in my homeroom, the next I was telling P to calm down, that her girlfriend was being crazy because all preteen girls are crazy, and that she didn’t MEAN to hurt P’s feelings. And then it was on. I’m not sure what I expected in terms of a) my relationships with my students and b) homophobia at a Louisiana middle school, but let me just say: whatever I expected, it wasn’t this.

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