I am one of them

I am one of those kids sitting, tired, hunched over at my desk.
I am one of those students being assessed and graded but never truly learning.
I am one of the “get your book out” comments.
I am the lull before the forced test.
I am the agony of another redundant task.
I am one of those middle schoolers that can’t seem to grasp it.
I am motivation spiraling, lost, down my thought-filled brain.

I am trying to study. I have an exam in a little over an hour. I’ve made a few note cards. Filled in the parts of the study guide that I could off the top of my head or that I could find effortlessly in the text book. I used to be convinced that if the topic related to my interests I would be, well…interested. I’ve learned that this isn’t the case. I’ve learned that I can continually hear about intellectual disabilities and teaching every kid differently in classrooms all while day dreamed about dancing around a circle of people in wheelchairs at summer camp.

I’ve learned that, like the middle schoolers I’m tutoring, I have to be told to take notes. I have to be told step by step to write this answer down, to read this section, to answer this question. It’s not that I don’t know how. It’s not that I don’t know I should be doing these things. It’s really that I have a hard time holding myself accountable when it doesn’t seem to benefit me at that exact moment. Like those teenagers in that middle school, I have other things on my mind. I have other content I would rather read, songs I would rather memorize, poems I would rather write.

But here I am. Sitting alone in a study room, pen sandwiched between my notebook and text book. I haven’t written a whole lot. I actually took an accidental twenty minute nap. 

I’m still tired.  

I’ve given up on worrying about this exam because, like all my teachers always told me, cramming will not give me great results. The thoughts of someone who procrastinates goes a little something like this,

I can do it later. I still have time. I’ll do it tomorrow. I can do it later. I still have time. I need to do it today. I’ll do it later. Exam is in an hour? I guess I’ll open my book…screw it, I can’t learn anything in an hour.”

The struggle is real.

I am one of those students scrapping everything in my mind to get by and pass these classes. 
I am, on average, an A or a B.
I am losing steam and I have lost my motivation.
I am the students I get most frustrated with.

Over and over again I tell my students, “Just do these problems…” Internally I feel so pushy because I see that they just have to circle answers. Their teacher pretty much gives them a play by play of the EXACT answer she wants but they were never taught effectively how to write it down in their own words, to think critically, and to pay attention.

But I have been taught those things and I still don’t do them all of the time. So maybe I am just like them and maybe they are just like me. I couldn’t help but crack up when one of the boys locked himself in his locker today because he “could fit” and wanted to see if he “could unlock it from the inside”. Personally, I thought it was hilarious when he finally did get let out and his face was beat red, his face covered in a grin. The teachers, however, rolled their eyes, the principal gave him detention, and I wanted to go up to him and ask him if for one second he almost shit his pants when he couldn’t get out himself.

I didn’t ask him.

I am trying to be more professional than my inner being wants to be.
I am trying to become influential in a classroom.
I am trying.

Almost everything in me doesn’t want to try anymore. Mostly because classes are redundant, content crosses over from year to year, and instruction is usually the same: put up a powerpoint and “discuss” the key points all while teaching us how to be effective teachers.

Borrrrring. I see no effective strategies in the classes I attend. Where are the examples?

I’m bored, really, and that’s where my lack of motivation comes in. Why is it taking so long? Why have I been here five years but am just now assessing students and just now implementing my knowledge in a classroom. Shouldn’t I have been doing this all along? I am, and forever will be, curious as to who sets up the requirements for each major and minor. I am curious as to why general education teachers have to take one special education class but special education teachers have to take a whole year of general education cohorts. Isn’t the system trying to push for inclusion? Aren’t those general education teachers going to have special education students in their classrooms? If I can manage a kid’s behavior who has severe autism, don’t you think I can manage the behavior of a “typically” developing child? 

I am one of the many students here at CMU that have been coming to the EHS building for five plus years.
I am a summer away from student teaching.
I am feeling the senioritis kicking in.

I am going to be a teacher soon according to my diploma, but personally, I think I’ve been a teacher since long before this year. I’ve been a teacher since my teachers would pair me up with struggling students in elementary school. I’ve been a teacher since my roommate couldn’t catch but I could. I’ve been a teacher since my friends learned what debates are and I learned my own opinions. I think being a teacher is something that is engrained in some people, but I think the setting of teaching can be changed and the style of teaching can most definitely be different. 

I am going to do only okay on this exam.

I am okay with this.


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