I can feel it coming to a close. The passion. The drive. I keep telling myself it is because of the changes in the content I am teaching and structure of my day and the new responsibilities I have this year. I am clinging to that story because it means that maybe there is hope out there somewhere. Maybe my problems are external. Maybe a change would do me good. Maybe.
On the other hand – if it is only these superficial roadblocks to happiness, and I can’t persevere, or have enough *grit* to muscle through, what does that say about my character? My professionalism? These are tough questions to grapple with on a Tuesday evening when I should be doing other things that are more immediately important for 8am tomorrow. But I’m not.
I’m left wondering if my lack of drive means something else? It gnaws at me – the guilt – and I want nothing more than to be on fire for my students (and myself – in reverse order, perhaps). I was spoiled early on in my career. I was lucky enough to have a passion for the content I was teaching, and that kept me intellectually sharp. I have always placed student well-being and personal connections above content – but there was something nice about loving what you teach. For almost twelve years I loved the content and the students. That balance was important. I had a deep understanding of what I was teaching and that allowed me to create better experiences for the students. Actually I am not sure that is true. I perceived it as true, but maybe my perceptions were tainted with personal bias.
I don’t love what I am teaching now. I don’t know it well. It is not inherently exciting to me. I still love the humans in my classroom, but only having half the reason to go in everyday feels like failure. 50% out of 100%.
I suppose this is the part where I need to step up and do all of the quasi-motivational things I ask my students to do when they are struggling. However, I keep coming up short. I know what I need to do, or at least I think I know, but can’t will myself to do it. Maybe this is simply a thirteen year rut? Maybe I never learned how to pace myself and have been running on fumes for the last few years and now it is becoming clear the tank is empty? Maybe my class is becoming the class I never wanted it to be and I can sense that but I have not yet found a way to fix it because I can’t tell if it is important enough to fix and that scares the hell out of me. Strike that last maybe.