Double-Post Day! Post 1: Teacher, Interrupted

I figured that at some point through this challenge of writing a blog post every day I would likely face a situation where I couldn’t post for whatever reason. Yesterday it was me still recovering from nasty cold or flu or whatever. But I have a plan! I shall post something interesting and awesome (ulp!) twice today, starting by adding to this. Ttyl!


I’m back. Darned virus — the medicine has worn off and I cannot sleep, although at least my eyes haven’t hurt for about a day.

Taking a sick day is just about one of the hardest things you can do when you’re a teacher. It’s a disruption in everyone’s routine, not just your own. Doubly difficult at this time of year, with projects wrapping up and exams within days. I think I might have been getting sick last week — I distinctly remember feeling rundown on Friday morning — but I honestly feel like having to take to my bed is like abandoning my students.

Not only is it a challenge to let it all be in others’ hands for a day, it’s making the arrangements to do so. Typing up my supply lessons and filling out the automatic substitute generator online was brutal, but at least I gave myself time in which to stretch it out this go, rather than waiting until the last minute to see if I was feeling any better. And then I had a nightmare in which I’d filled out the forms but there was no school the next day! First, I’d filled them out for a Saturday, and then for the day before school started in the fall… Ugh. Stress following me into my dreams.

So now it’s nearly 4 am, I’m having a balance and wellness tea blend, contemplating my choices once again. I anticipate that I will be able to go to work in the morning, though how long my energy will last, I can’t tell. The good news is my afternoon is much more relaxed — if I need to leave after lunch, it’s not such an endeavour.

The trouble is that if I go in sick, though less than I was on Sunday and Monday, I know I’m spreading germs, for one. (Then again, that’s the most likely place where I picked up my own microscopic friends!) I need patience and energy for addressing individuals’ needs, questions, helping to solve problems, explain concepts, manage the class, all of the myriad little details that are part and parcel of the job. And while I may seem articulate at the moment, I’m not actively speaking — writing has always been my go-to for communication, and it takes far less energy to peck this out on my tiny iPhone keyboard than even on my computer.

(Sips tea reflectively)

It’s hard to let go of this job. I woke up intermittently through Monday, noticed the time when I did, and wondered how my students were doing. Or, more familiarly, my kids. You get to feeling like that, somewhat proprietary about them, as a mother hen does over a nest even if they’re not her own eggs. You feel protective of them, responsible for them, celebrating their achievements in the five months you teach them, and reflecting on what you should have or could have done better with them. And there are students who come to visit me at lunch — a small group most of which I have not (yet) taught but from whom I have learned so much, and vice versa.

Teacher, interrupted. That’s how I’m feeling right about now. Nearing the end of the semester and I’m thrown into the pit by a gunky engine, revving to get back but knowing it’s not going to function on all gears just yet.

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