a clean cog in a dirty machine.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m my harshest critic. When I attempt a new task or responsibility and it doesn’t go according to plan, I am very negative. What did I do wrong? Could I have improved this at all? Normally, the answer is “no”, but I won’t let it go. I have to analyze what went wrong, even if it’s not necessarily “wrong”.

In the same vein, I apologize for everything that I do ever. It sounds silly, but I took a Buzzfeed quiz that asks “do you apologize too much?” I got 44/55. I apologize for the silliest things, including when I announce my opinion and it’s not the consensus.

This brings me to today. Here’s the email I sent Jimmy at 2pm.

So, this is my day after a nice lunch:
I was just in an sophomore teacher meeting, and the director was like “okay, let’s talk about this thing you’ve all been working on.” I
‘ve NEVER heard of this, I’ve never been told about this, I have no idea what the hell is going on. So, I waited a few minutes until I said something. Finally, I spoke up, and the other teachers were like, “oooh yeah, well you weren’t working here when we started that email chain.”
So, not only was I not part of the conversation, I was completely left in the dark and never caught up. How am I supposed to participate when no one helps me?
I looked like an idiot.
 The project was something about power and signing sheets to demonstrate leaderhsip, and I’d seen these sheets like twice. I’d signed a few of them for those kids who brought them to me, because I thought it was for student leaders. I mentioned this, and this one teacher was like, “oh. so you signed a bunch because you didn’t know what it is?”
I almost lost it. I almost started crying.
So after this meeting, I was told we were having collaboration meetings in the English dept. So I show up in the cafeteria because I heard two teachers saying that’s where we’d meet. I was literally just brushed off by those teachers, because apparently it’s for the senior teachers, not the sophomores. The sophomore English teachers are either just working on their own, or they’re meeting somewhere that I was never informed about.
Now I’m sitting here, alone, with people collaborating around me, but not with me. I’m waiting for the next meeting so I can just keep my head down, get through it, and go home.
In terms of an overall day, this might be my worst day.
I have never felt less accepted. I feel like a stranger at this school. I have tried to reach out for help. I’ve received none. I have asked the director, my “coach” (who is bullshit), and other teachers. They all send me to one another, then say they dunno what I should do.
I’m interviewing at this school on Friday. How can I work here when I’m completely lost?

My first thoughts today amounted to “It must be me. I must be doing something wrong.” Then I apologized for not knowing what was going on, despite it not being my fault. Earlier, before all of this happened, I’d gone to Panera for lunch. I was already frustrated because I was proctoring ACT tests all day, and I’ve never done it before. Again, I was not asked if I’d done it before or if I knew the procedures; I was put into the situation and had to figure it out. Luckily, it’s not tough to proctor.
After Panera, I went to the park nearby, took off my shoes, and did yoga. I planted my feet in the dirt, thanked the earth for supporting me, and meditated. I find great comfort in talking to the planet and sending my gratitude into the atmosphere.I don’t believe in God. But I do believe in thanking the massive rock we live on.

I lost all that comfort and happiness when I came back and was faced with all of this. It fell to the wayside, because I was once again alone. I was lost. And I was doubting myself.

I came home, exhausted. I laid down and fell asleep for almost three hours.
Now, I feel about the same, but with some new perspectives.

I can only do my best.
It seems elementary, but I don’t really know what “my best” means. Is that what is expected of me? Is it what I set as my limit? Is it the feeling of comfort I get when I meditate?
I am still trying to figure this out. But I know that, at the end of the day, I can’t do beyond my best. I am my first priority. My superiors and workload do not come before me.

I do not need to apologize.
Sometimes, things are my fault. If I don’t do my work, that’s on me. But, if the school doesn’t do their job, that is not my fault. I can’t be responsible for other people’s mistakes or errors. I do have to make it on my own to a degree, and I know that. But, in an environment where collaboration and discussion is crucial, I cannot be the only one talking.
I can’t apologize for things I don’t know about because they hired me literally at the last minute and gave me virtually no training. I have received virtually no help, despite asking, and if that’s how it is, that’s how it is.

This is not the ideal environment for me. I’m not going to be here very long. I can already tell. If this is the way these people run things, that’s fine. But it’s not for me. I don’t like to hear teachers bashing students and looking at them as potential failures rather than opportunities for success.
I want to be in a school that treats each kid with love and excitement each morning. Everyone has bad days, but I still don’t judge my students for past issues, and that’s not the vibe at this school.
So, eventually I will move on. Until then, all I can do is stick with what I love and believe and continue to show love and gratitude.

I did my yoga in a park full of dandelions. Some people see them as weeds. I see them as little happy flowers. It’s all about perspective.


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