I was sitting through an exam today (watching my students) and I thought to myself that I feel kind of confident that the exam is good, that the questions are fair, and that most of my students will actually get a good grade in the end – well, those that have studied anyway.
One year and two months ago, I was in a classroom as well, going (suffering) through my state exam. I still can´t remember most of it, partly because I was so sleep-deprived I could have been on the moon I wouldn´t have noticed, and partly because I was under so much stress that it´s still a miracle to me how I managed to show up to the exam fully dressed. I forgot to celebrate my first anniversary this year, because I was having a stressful day and I simply didn´t remember that March, 10 is an important date.
I started working August 10, right after the summer holidays (which I enjoyed immensely, being unemployed and all) and these past 9 months seem like forever to me. It seems like I have always been a teacher and like I`ve never done anything but being a teacher. I think I´m good at what I do. I like my students, I love my job. I like the challenge every day poses. I like that I can handle almost everything. Five years back I would have probably surrendered by now. I would have tried – sure, I would have – but I wouldn´t have been able to shoulder the pressure, the responsibility and the hard work.
People say you grow with the challenge – I certainly have.
Nine months ago, I couldn´t imagine ever working 25,5 hours (which usually doubles or triples when factoring in all the work I do at home). I couldn´t imagine teaching 11 different classes in 6 different educational programs. I couldn´t imagine learning more than 200 students´ names – and remembering facts about them such as their hobbies, their siblings´ names, their taste in music, who is allergic to what and who doesn´t like to work with whom. I can remember who still needs a worksheet because he or she was sick the other lesson, who hasn´t done the homework, who still needs to show he/she has written the correction and so on and so forth.
Now that I seem to be on top of things (a fleeting feeling, I´m afraid), the inevitable questions comes to my mind: What will I do next? What is my next step? Should I dare being happy with what I have achieved or should I avoid tempting fate to ruin it all for me by doing something else, by doing more, by shouldering yet another challenge?
Here I am – time flies, I grow, my life unfolds in front of me, and that little voice in the back of my head asks with a sneering whisper: “So, are you sure you are having fun?”