Yesterday was the first morning in four weeks that I woke up reasonably refreshed and without anxiety. It was nice. I think the people who suffer longer term anxiety and function to any extent are amongst the most courageous people.
I did my job in the morning without fear, without second guessing myself and with an inner calm that I had almost forgotten that I possessed. I achieved most of my to do list for yesterday in the morning.
At about twelve thirty I became enraged, inside. You all know that I love my job. I love my school. Teaching teenagers can be exceptionally difficult but it isn’t impossible. It requires commitment, passion, tenacity, patience, reflection, a willingness to succeed. It isn’t impossible.
And I have lost my tolerance for incompetence. And at twelve thirty that became very obvious to me.
I had cried for a lot of the period before. I have followed a different process in teaching with my Year 11 class this term. They are a huge class for a senior class – 25 (one student doesn’t show up anymore though). Anyway, their speaking assessment task was due yesterday. We do not have a high submission rate at our school. Two students were absent – one being the non-attender and one student gave me a legitimate note for an extension a day before – and everyone else handed in their speech.
Everyone else. Twenty two out of twenty five speeches were handed in. My class is not the top class. I was shocked. Yes, I know teaching is about having high expectations. I have them. I voice them. They aren’t usually met.
And then, one volunteer after another. No pauses. No waiting. No tricks.
And the quality of the speeches. Oh my. They all attempted eye contact. They spoke clearly. Unfortunately, a fair few of them moved a lot. But, they were really trying. And the content, man, almost perfect for every single student.
I was, I am, so proud of them.
They inspire me to want to be a better teacher. They inspire me to want to be better.
So, incompetence I really had no patience for. And when I saw it, I got angry. I came back to zen, but not before last night.
I woke up without anxiety this morning too.
Hopefully for now, the anxiety is moving on. I know it will be back – the situation that caused it hasn’t been resolved. But if I could just get a few days of peace, I might be able to restore some faith and trust in others.