The phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” is from an Arab proverb about a camel that was loaded up with straw. The act of placing one more strand of straw on its back caused it to collapse and break its back.
I’m feeling very much like the camel this school year. A new grade level, new subject content and standards, new schedule. And so many students that I’m working hard to reach and feel like I’m falling oh so short.
I constantly feel like I’m being pulled apart between home and school, and not succeeding at meeting the wants and needs for either place.
And then there’s the recent elections.
Hmm…I’ll just pass on that for now.
I’ve started thinking of this school year as “The Year of the Camel” for me. It’s become this viciously wicked game of seeing how much straw can keep being loaded onto my back before I break. And recently, those breaking moments have been all I can do to push-off and try to keep going, try to keep making a difference, try to meet the needs of ALL my students. I feel like all I’m doing is spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do love what I’m teaching. I just don’t have a groove or routine or sometimes even a clue as to what I’m doing, and if I’m doing it right. I desperately don’t want to fail these kids. I love them dearly, even when they are driving me crazy.
I had this group as 3rd graders and was excited to get to teach them again. I felt it would give me an advantage by already knowing them and having built relationships with them, and for the most part, that’s true. There have been other factors that have made some things challenging. It seems to be smoothing out, but then something else always seems to pop up and throw me for a loop.
I keep telling myself that I just need to make it through this year and then I’ll have a better sense of what to do for next year. I can make the adjustments that I need to so things work better. But then this overwhelming feeling of guilt hits me, and this voice says, “But what about THIS year’s kids? You’ve got to get better NOW for them!”
And I do.
And I’m trying. Desperately trying to be better and be the teacher that all of them need me to be.
I just hope I succeed. For their sake.
I don’t want to just be done with this Year of the Camel. I want to be able to find a way to master it (or at least not totally suck at it) and make it better for everyone. I don’t want to just survive it, I want to have taught and made a difference in these kiddos lives.
I’m just ready to be done with the straw being added to my near breaking back. I want to find a way to shake as much of it off as possible.
I’m very hopeful for a Year of the Koala. I just love koalas. They are so cute and peaceful looking. I could use some peace right about now.