I've taken to writing mental healthy things on Monday not because "Mental Health Monday" sounds fun, but because I do my best thinking and reflecting on Sundays as I wind myself back up for a week of the unknown. Many teachers that are worth their sticky notes as educators are very self critical. They regret not teaching something better. They regret not including that small detail that may have made the lesson make more sense to one of their students. They regret not preparing enough or even preparing too much. Teachers regret, but do they ever regret teaching period?
Last week, I full on taught one of my class periods something that was wrong. I fessed up and corrected it the following day when I realized, but I regret that. What I'm talking about is more regret over choices, not regretting mistakes. Those are different to me.
This is something I've waffled over since graduation. I've laid awake many a night, after talking with some of my friends with a few extra zeros in their bank accounts, wondering if I made the right choice. What if I chose to leave it all behind tomorrow and go work with them? Even if I still decided to teach, why did I come back home to Dallas to do it? Why not somewhere in California, or Chicago, or somewhere on the east coast closer to my college friends? What could have been?
The weird thing is, I know the answer is "I would've hated it." That doesn't make me feel the feelings of regret any less. It's a funny thing, fear of missing out or just general "I wish I would have seen if__." Maybe I'm just wired wrong and I'm just a big dummy. I have a dog, I just bought a house, I have people that care about me, I just got into the education masters program I wanted, and I have "stuff." I'm happy, or at least I should be. Why can't I shake off that looming negativity that follows me around all the time that comes from regret? There's enough negativity that comes from the other dumb parts of my brain. I don't need the extra.
Where I always end up is, "How could I have chosen to do anything else?" I know what my city is. I know how fortunate I was growing up. I never forgot where I came from. So how could I have done anything else and felt good about it? As angry as I get and as empty as I feel like my pockets are some days, my soul is happy.
I started this blog as live, public therapy for myself, but also to show the inner workings of at least one teacher in the city. I've changed quite a bit over the last year. There's one thing that stays the same and that's my love and dedication to the kids in Dallas, specifically those in Dallas ISD. There are days I think I'm better than the work, there are days where I think I don't deserve the opportunity to do the work, and there are days where it all makes sense and fits together. Even though I regularly wonder "what if," I also understand why I'm on the path that I am, and that's enough for me.
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