Friday, March 18, 2016

Year 6: Week 27 – Working Through The Frustartion

“If you are more frustrated for what this school isn’t, than happy for what this school is, than you should move on.”

There’s always something to get frustrated about in any organization. There are things that don’t work as well as they should and personalities that don’t click with. When any group of people get into a group to work together over a period of time, tension is inevitable and conflict, which is built into the nature of human interaction, is going to be an issue.

Schools like many companies go in cycles. Certain conversations happen every couple years. To people who have been in a school for a long time, these conversations can feel like redundancies. Each year there are different students and different parents but the same issues come up just with new faces. This can feel like a lack of forward progress, dealing with the same problems, year after year.

Within all of this sometimes teachers slip into pessimism. This is understandable with the constant grind that is teaching, but we need to watch ourselves in these moments. If this is simply a bad day mood, that’s fine, but if it’s something deeper, then maybe it’s time to move on.

The things we love about our school need to overtake the frustrations. Because if they don’t, they drag down the other teachers who are trying to fight the good fight. More importantly, a lack of optimism is a disservice to the students.

If you get frustrated that conversations need to happen in meetings that you feel are redundant, just zone out or doodle. You aren’t a new teacher anymore, and not everything in a meeting has to apply just to you. Yes, it seems like we are having the same conversations to students and parents year after year when you teach the same grade. This is actually a good thing because it shows that you are present and have preparation to deal with issues that come up.  And don't forget, for a student or parent, probably these are brand new conversations to them.

To be completely honest, I feel frustration at my work.  However I feel less over time because I’ve learned to set my expectations in a way to be more accepting. A lot of frustration is due to the fact that individuals who are feeling frustrated cannot accept circumstances around them. There are so many things I love about this school that these frustrations really feel less significant and that’s why I’m still teaching at this school.

One day that may change and then it will be time to move on. Until then, I’m going to to hear the same talks, have the same conversations and teach some of the same songs every year.  At this point, the new faces, the students' energy and the spirit of this school makes it all feel more like a blessing than a burden.

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