“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” -Ernest Hemingway

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The little text at the top of this page reads: Teaching, Graduate School, Life. I guess this one is a combination of the first and last rather than just teaching, which has been most of my focus lately. First, I have to say that I am so appreciative of the love and support I have received over the past couple of weeks, especially, let alone through everything else. This process has been one huge test. I came into a classroom of students whom I’d never met, students that have already developed relationships amongst themselves and with the teacher, and then here I come…some random little student teacher who looks like she’s a student in high school herself. My unit got changed from To Kill a Mockingbird to Night with a one week notice when I had TKAM completely planned out. So to say the least, I went into this term with a blindfold on. So thank you to those who have had to hear about the schizophrenic, bipolar-like ups and downs that these past few weeks have brought. If one thing has remained the same, it’s my love and dedication for my students. They are the light in my life and the ones who get me through this term. Even when everything is changed around me (tests, schedules, PowerPoints, requirements, EVERYTHING POSSIBLE), they keep me going. When I am constantly being tested by those in authority (being purposefully locked out of places I need to go, teacher being a no-show, no information being left for me, no support, ya know, yadda, yadda) my students are the ones who are there with open arms. I have never been pushed this hard and no one has ever intentionally tested me, trying to make my life more difficult than it needs to be until now. I can handle just about anything as long as it’s in my control, but when I am being intentionally tested and it’s out of my control, that’s when I’ve reached my breaking point. I’m over being tested by a grown, experienced teacher. I get this little game, and I’m done playing it. Maybe this is just how life works and people do this all the time, but it’s just not fair that it’s gotten to the point where my students are confused, frustrated, and stressed, and it’s all out of my control and there is nothing I can do to help them or make it better.

Secondly, for the third time in my life, well for the third time in two months rather, I have heard the words “I don’t want to hold you back from your dreams” in a way that I am being pushed away from them or they are pushing themselves from me. This is something I will never understand. NOTHING will ever stand in the way of school or teaching and when someone takes it upon themselves and blames themselves for “holding me back,” it breaks me, and again is something that is out of my control. I’m seeing a pattern here. I need to tell every single person that I meet from now on that no matter what they do or say, they aren’t holding me back or taking me away from my dreams unless I tell them they are. If someone was holding me back from  my dreams in one way or another, they would know about it and they would no longer be in my life. When others assume my feelings or my priorities, it angers me. I try so hard to be honest in life and to be transparent with those around me, but when others put feelings that they “think I should have,” on me, my head feels like it is placed in a blender. Trust me, nothing and nobody will ever take me away from teaching and school and if they were, they wouldn’t be in my life. If anything, anyone who is in my life is helping to get me to where I want to go. Pushing me away because they “don’t want to hold me back” is actually holding me back and taking up space in my head that could be devoted to my dreams. So that’s that. Normally, I wouldn’t rant about something so small, but this small phrase has been said to me for the third time recently, that I don’t know what else to do but tell it like it is. So please, no more pushing yourself out of my life because you “don’t want to hold me back.” It’s frankly a cop-out. I can handle myself and my own dreams and goals, others don’t need to worry about that.

Have you ever heard of “the compliment sandwich?” Well, it’s where someone says something nice about you, then gives you criticism, then ends it with another compliment. Probably so you don’t feel so bad. It kind of cushions the blow. Well, I don’t want to end today’s thoughts on a negative note, and I hope I don’t come off as a Negative Nancy, but I had to express my frustrations through words. Better than with my fists, right? Just kidding…kinda. So there is so much I am thankful for and so much I am lucky to have. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clean water to drink, and even electricity. As an added bonus, I have the most amazing family, the most supportive and understanding friends, and quirky, full-of-life students. What more could I ask for? Even with having a part time job, going to school full time, student teaching, commuting, attempting to get sleep, and piles of homework and grading, I am still so happy. I determine my own happiness. I always have, and I always will. Everyone has their frustrations and I guess writing is my way of expressing them (obvi, this is a blog). Thank you everyone, again, for all of your constant love and support during this learning-filled, crazy, trying time in my life. Without you, I couldn’t do it.

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