I talk about my job a lot because it affects every area of my daily life. Every day as a teacher affects how I see myself. It determines the value I place on myself, it tells me who I am as a person, it has a STRONG influence on my emotional barometer, it often validates all of my insecurities, it can influence my decision making, it challenges me to do more than I thought I could, it often "wrings" me out like a wet rag and leaves me exausted on every level; I sometimes feel hopeless and wonder why I am in this profession..and then get afraid when I can't see myself doing anything else.
So here's the thing, I keep running into the same professional brick wall every year: High standards and expectations that are continually not met, and I don't know if it is a bipolar thing, the nature of the job, a temperament thing or a combination of all three. I have a high standards and expectations for the students I work with, the teachers I work with, and for myself, and they are either challenged or fall short on a pretty regular basis. I am continuously shocked and angered by bad behavior, insubordination, disrespect, and the shoddy work ethic of a lot my students, the blame game and finger pointing of parents who want to make the above problems about everyone else except their child, and the unprofessionalism of some of my peers.
I write a behavior referral and I get an angry phone call from a parent, I correct a student, and I get "in your face" attitude and disrespect from that student or an angry phone call from a parent. I try to enforce the school rules and I get little or no support from my administration. I get bitched at if I don't push a student hard enough to meet an important deadline, I get bitched at because I have pushed them to hard. I go from frustrated, flaming, angry, bitch to shut down, I give up, what's the point, I am not going to say or do a thing, several times a week. It is exausting. I was the LAST person to sign their letter of intent to come back and teach next year. They had to hunt me down so they could send it to the main office.
So is it the bipolar disorder, the job, or just my temperament? This constant soul sucking frustration, anger, high expectations and standards, this roller-coaster of emotions, these days of doubting myself and asking, "Is it me or is it them?" is affecting my whole life... and gee, I get to do this again next year because I signed the Letter of Intent. How can I give up a regular paycheck and medical insurence?