kate5kiwis: suffoKATEd


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Monday, September 06, 2010


i am finding myself becoming a bit negative. i think i'm being affected by classroom politics: the separating of teacher from learner, the unspoken vibe that pits child against adult, and vice versa, and i'm coming home feeling a bit 'kidded out'. all day i'm managing thirty little people hour by blessed hour, trying to keep the peace and keep learning at the centre of it. how ridiculous! learning happens all the time. but oh, we have another test next week. my philosophy of life is clashing badly with the space i've found myself in. what to do?

and life in our own house suddenly seems too loud. i'm finding myself seeking solace in nutty things like ironing. which is a crazy statement in itself. i adore these peeps i'm walking with. our usual vibe is being dampened by my exhaustion. the weekend arrives and i just wanna crawl into a cave.

we did escape to the beach yesterday. me'n' my five kiddos, on danny's last holiday day with us. everyone spread out and went adventuring, jumping off rocks and clinging to cliffs above the crashing surf. my heart stopped once or twice. but it did put the ensuing exams into perspective, for an hour.

so i'm thinking about the possibility of pursuing a full time job next year, or not: will one lot of kiddos and one classroom be easier than four (or fourteen some weeks)? can i really be true to my hippie self (yeah, the kids are still asking)? will i have some niceness left over for my own beautiful people, or will it all get sucked out by some passing dementor?


Anonymous Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Oh lovey I really feel for you and have been wondering how you've been juggling it all. My Mum went back to teaching when I was 11 (after being a SAHM) and though she ha only my sister and I she still found it tough and her health suffered, but she soildered on. I spent my teens really worried about her mental health. She gave to everyone and left nothing for herself. Right now I am so happy to see her retired and finally living her life to the full. She gave so much for so many years of her life and now she's finally breathing freely.

You are an amazing woman with a huge heart and I just hope you can find a way to juggle everything in a way that leaves you with some time to connect with the universe and feel energized too xxxx

Take care x

7:04 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Give it a go and see is all you can and to thine own self be true.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous rb said...

I do admire you, Katie - both for your energy and your honesty.

Go with what feels right and know that whatever you decide needn't be forever. I always think that way these days "I'll do this now because I feel like I want to give it a try but if I don't like it I'll stop it".

11:40 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You're right on time. You've gotten prepped, gotten started, and now you've been knocked down a bit. I don't know what's right for you, but I guarantee that this is part of the cycle, and it'll get to be easier, more fun, and more creative again before too long.
Teaching is like learning an instrument or a language or anything else--you have to overlearn, i.e., make everything become so rote it's mindless and boring, before you can really do something beautiful with it. And even later, you still have to practice your scales (make the lesson plan, stick to your classroom rules even with the good kids, etc.).

It's hard, but it really can be beautiful, and you seem like a very likely candidate to make it so.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Are you just relieving this year? Having your own class is better than relieving by oh so many miles, but I know full time would be too much for me now I am doing this mothering lark as well. 'Cos I'm teaching teenagers, I get to be part time and have my own two classes.

I don't work well at night and I notice that women who teach full time and have a family all seem to be good night people (for the marking, which I cannot ever manage to do after the kids are in bed, hence working part time and doing the marking during school hours), and they have a mum or mil (or part time working husband) to help with sick children/being home for the plumber/school trips etc.

About the energy balance in other ways, no one else can really know how it will be for you. Your own children may have the most helpful, pertinent observations about what would work best for their lovely, talented mother.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh Kate...all my own questions! I do hope you find some peace in your thoughts about next year. I do wonder if it's a matter of 'step out and try it'...it doesn't have to be forever.
Love your enthusiasm and joy in what you do!
Much love Sharyn H xx

6:28 PM  
Blogger Liesl said...

I think you'll find a way to work all this out, Kate, and I also suspect that your schools will be much improved as a result :) It takes a looooong time to change the educational status quo (at least here in the States it does...) but it can be done with much persistence.

I'd bet that if you can make the most of whatever time off you can find over the summer you'll find yourself with renewed vigor and some new and very bright ideas for being the teacher you are while co-existing with the oppositional
educational system.

Sending hugs and some virtual merlot from our local organic vineyard....

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Ominous Anonymous/David said...

Well from reading this I can tell you this is actually a common problem, and not just for the teachers. Not only do teachers end up 'kidded out' as you call it and affected by classroom politics, many kids end up going home exhausted by it all too. Putting on a facade to fit in, to be like everyone else. And ironing isn't a nutty thing to find peace in, it's just a simple task. No thinking or politics required, it actually makes a lot of sense. Also I do recommend pursuing a full time job, you're a good teacher. Sure you get exhausted but everyone does, kids are exhausting. Also with philosophy of life clashing with space, we all end up with that too. I have before at least. Been a long time since I've checked this blog, you might remember me from class or from a previous post.

12:53 AM  

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