The administration has been nothing short of AMAZING. Uh-Maze-Ing. I should be able to throw my head back and walk away confident and content, because they've been so incredible. But I can't. People are out there lying about me, and I can't get past it the way I should.
Then tonight I made the mistake of checking work email and there's an email from another parent -- different kid, different class -- to the principal, complaining about me. The principal forwarded it to me -- he's an awesome guy and such a straight shooter -- and I really don't have reason to worry that he will be anything less than reasonable, and again, I've done nothing wrong. But in the meantime, the letter is again filled with one-sided stories and outright lies. In this case, it's how I say all sorts of things I've never said, and how the kid is failing, and the class is a handful. Point of fact: the class IS a handful, but do you want to know one of the ringleaders? You got it.... the mom's little cherub.
It's funny that the kids whose parents complain the loudest are the kids who do the least work and are the most disruptive.
Sigh. These are the kinds of things that have nothing to do with grading or lesson planning or likely anything that anyone thinks of when they think of what a teacher does. But they are the things that literally interrupt my sleep, gray my hair, and generally hurt my heart. I like to think I have a thick skin, but I suppose when it comes down to it, I don't. I do get upset. I do get hurt. I do, quite frankly, get angry -- especially when people lie about me. Attacks on me are attacks on me, and that people would blindly believe whatever their kids say blows my mind. So, as you can imagine, I got this email tonight, and despite knowing in my heart that I have nothing to worry about and have done nothing wrong, I will more than likely not sleep tonight. What is WRONG with me?! Sheesh! Buck up, kid!
I adamantly believe that there is a difference between quitting and cutting one's losses. I've tried to cut my losses twice now, leaving public education because I no longer believe in it and because I can't continue to do this to myself, and twice I've been pulled back. (Okay, once I was pulled back, and once I was forced back. But you know what I mean!) And when it's good, it's very good; but when it's bad, it consumes me. It eats at me. It will put me in an early grave. If you didn't know me, you'd think I was two people, simultaneously wanting to quit this minute and not come back ever, and at the same time, planning for "next year, I can't wait to try ..."
I need your help, friends. How do I let this not get to me? What do you do when you KNOW you need to not sweat something, but you just plain can't help it?
I know I am not the only teacher (heck or person!) who lets this kind of stuff get to me. But man, it sure is getting to me.