how is it going?
Any teacher who is charge of student government / student activities is not paid enough no matter what they are paid— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) October 3, 2021
Well, a few things.
Let’s pretend for one moment that everything is “back to normal.” Wait, I’m not qualified to speak on that because nothing was normal, and it certainly isn’t now. Let’s just say some of the dings and dents are still pushing in on my mental-bruised spots.
Earlier this morning I had a high anxiety freeze: the ASB students, I, and an admin are planning to go to a motivational event sponsored by the district. It takes place in the large auditorium. I am planning on bringing extra masks for students, many of who are still hesitant about the vaccine, as are their families. And for a few minutes, I experienced waves of guilt, fear, shame, and hypocrisy. How dare we take children to this event? What if? WHAT IF WHAT IF WHAT IF and then in the next moment I see parades of photos from sporting events, quick, maskless photos sitting with thousands of others, next to families, smiling in the sunshine. Flash: now a headline about 700,000 people who’ve died of COVID. Imagine approximately two Glendale, Calfornia’s population gone. Another example is the district I’m in lost 9x of its population.
Stop it, brain. Just stop it.
And I think this is it: I am someone who will shout and warn, who will caution and prepare, and now I feel like my voice is censored and silenced. Told to stay in my lane, pretend like everything’s fine, not share factual, credible information. We are living in The Bird Box now. But the fridge is still full and the electricity is running. Mostly. My inner Cassandra is on high alert now.
The students have been wonderful.
…am tired of gatekeepers, naysayers, party poopers, complainers, downers, and sourpusses. What I would like are more pragmatic optimists (join me! We can get things done and stay safe!) and realistic acknowledgments. Specifically, as Larry said about ASD and student leadership–last year was my first year as the facilitator, and we did so much to keep it together even though we weren’t in the building. Not a single acknowledgment from my colleagues. Not one. And I realize their dislike of me personally gets in their way of seeing how much the students did. And this year we have a lot planned, and the building leadership group decided that “since we aren’t doing assemblies and dances” why did I need more than once a month to meet? Didn’t ask me. I wasn’t in the room and could have shared the rationale. I asked to be in the room but was gently told no. My powers of internalized cognitive therapy will help me reframe this, and stay strong.
What does this mean? What is the intent, and what is the impact? The intent is to keep me at arm’s length. The impact is now I and the students (about 12-13 of them) have to figure out creative solutions to meet and get things done this year. These are the same gatekeepers who ask for grace and understanding. Okay. Done. I am an expert at picking myself up, dusting off, and getting back on the horse. In the ring. Running up that hill. Whatever cliche seems right. Because my energy is sacred and special. My energy is both finite and sustainable. A paradox, yes, but I have great admin support, and this will help me support our students.
Trying to keep it together, folks.
Wish me luck.