Sunday, September 9, 2007

Emotional Overload

I've finished week one of my internship. And what a week it was.

I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I've been exceptionally emotional this week. Wednesday was the first full day for students, and it was a stressful day for them. Almost at the same time, 3 boys were in tears. The first was because he is a perfectionist (yes, he's an 8-year-old perfectionist) and was not finished with the first worksheet when the second was handed to him. The second child that cried was because he was either feeling very sick or pretending to feel very sick so as to not do his work (yes, we have an actor on our hands). The third was a boy that all of the teachers have been telling us is problematic. He does have anger management issues, but I've noticed that it starts with him being frustrated that he cannot keep up with the pace of the class. This was the case on the first full day of school. I went to talk to him, to see what was wrong, but he had completely shut down. My CT (cooperating teacher, the "real" teacher in the classroom) was able to talk to him and let him know it's okay to catch up later. Another girl came up to me matter of factly and said, "We had a house fire yesterday," then proceeded to explain it as though it's no big deal

Needless to say, when I got home, I was beat. There are so many emotions that fly in the
classroom during the day. It mentally drained me, and I am not even in charge of anything yet! The kids are starting to wonder what my role is in the classroom, and I am too. ;-)

I came home Wednesday and made the mistake of reading through the Intern Handbook with all the expectations listed. I just really feel as though I'm not there and never will be there. I know that this year is a process and I'm not supposed to be there yet, but it still stressed me out to read all that is expected of me this year. I cooled down by walking on a treadmill while I read for my classes. :-)

Thursday I learned that my CT expects me to start teaching math on Monday. Wow. Her other interns have taught math from the beginning, so I suppose I will, too. In that regard, I feel prepared and unprepared at the same time. My CT has given me so many ideas that her other interns have used. All are good ideas. On one hand I want to use the ideas, because they are good ones. On the other hand I don't want to use them, because then I'm copying off former interns. I don't know what she expects of me, so my mind is conflicted.

Add up those two different areas of expectations vs. reality and add my graduate classes that each have their own expectations. That equation equals Jess having a minor breakdown on Friday while talking to my Field Instructor (professor that comes to observe me teach). I just needed to cry! Friday was a rough day, but I was able to sit down and have a date with Jesus at Beaner's later that night, and get a lot of what I had been repressing out. I had a good cry, a good pray, and some reassurance from the words of Jeremiah. It was good. I need to do that more often, be more real with my emotions and get them out in spoken words to God and to people! So often I have a loop of unasked questions in my head playing over and over again because they are questions that I am eager to have answered from someone, but I am afraid to ask for some reason or another. Most often they seem silly, or they are to be addressed to someone that I am unsure of my standing with. (does that make sense?). I guess the first step is getting more comfortable with myself and just asking the questions without regard to how it will make me seem/sound. Lay down the pride and self-deprication.

Today was another tumultuous day. I tried to go to church at His River in Holly. I got off the wrong Holly Rd. exit, and then proceeded to follow the road, thinking I would eventually find where I needed to be. By the time I gave up, turned around and continued on the right way, I made it to church a half hour late. Arg. This prompted another semi-break, where I realized that I do need people. I need to first rely on God, but I do need community, too. We were not created to live this life alone. Again, I don't know if it's hormones or something that's been repressed and coming out all of a sudden, but I've been feeling very alone recently, even if I'm with people. I think it's because I've been in deep authentic community with people that share my values and worldview, and that is not what I have now. I know that I can begin to create it and seek it out, but I still miss it.

Goals for this week:
No guilt for study/planning breaks
seek community (actually make it to His River next week, email about Bible studies?)
create authentic community by asking real and intentional questions
time to breathe, to be alone with God, and to PRAY


Tory said...

I like that your goals involve time to breathe. You'd be surprised how often that one gets pushed by the wayside. I have always love a quote I heard once "none sing hymns to breath, but oh to be without it."
I am sorry about the stressful beginnings, I will be praying for you.

Jess said...

Thanks, Tory... :-)