Small Things With Great Love

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 05 2013

Waking up from TFA hibernation (TFA-bernation??)

Sometimes I feel like I have it worse than my students.

This past week especially, I’ve been waking up disillusioned by the fact that break is coming to an end. I premeditated this, which was why I planned to arrive back in Miami on Sunday, 5pm–less than a day before school starts. Was that the wisest choice? Definitely not. Do I care? Definitely not (ok maybe?). Does this make me look unmotivated, and non-tfa-like? Definitely…oh well

It hit me today that time is not going to slow down for me. It didn’t help either when I checked my mail and got all this TFA nonsense, checked facebook, and got statuses of people getting back in action, checked the blog, and got people blogging about their new plans for the new year.

All I can think of right now is. uuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh no five more minutes! I don’t want to gooo. I feel sick. I swear, I think I’m coming down with something.

I’m hitting the snooze button. But I can’t really fall back asleep because I know that in 5 minutes, the annoying thing is going to go off again.

Okay, so why don’t I just get up and save me the trouble of being late. No, but my bed is too comfy. Well it’s not like I can fall back asleep and now I’m just wasting time thinking.

Okay. FINE. I’ll get up.

I’m finally waking up from my TFA slumber. Groggy and not so happy. Still in my groggy stage, so I’m doing something brainless like packing…sort of…don’t judge me

But seriously, Angela. What’s up with you? Why all this dread? You’re usually not like this. (sometimes I talk to myself)

I haven’t really pinpointed the source of dread. A lot of it has to do with coming back from break. Coming back from Thanksgiving break was probably the most difficult for me. I came home to an empty apartment. Then it hit me how alone I was. Why the heck did I ever choose to uproot myself from my family and friends to a place where I have absolutely nothing. Ok, I don’t have nothing. I have my 165 students. Yes. And that was the problem. Because of the absence of family and friends, I started to seek my own validation through my students. I started to take everything personal because for some reason I wanted them to like me. I was using their love as something that identified me and gave me a sense of worth. That was when things started going downhill.

Because when you’re a teacher, you’re not a friend. And I thought I got that down. I didn’t care if they liked me or not so long as they were learning. However, I guess being exposed to so much love when I went home, and getting that love pulled out from under me when I came back to Miami made me feel weak in some ways. I was trying to fill the emptiness in my heart with my students. And in doing so, I took everything so much more personally which affected my day-to-day teaching, and also my relationships with my students. Whereas before, I would be able to detach myself from whatever happened one day (good or bad) in order to start fresh, I found myself carrying the burdens of everyday and rolling them over to the next. I think they saw it in me too. They saw that the once so strong and sturdy Ms. Wu starting to slowly chip away.

As we’re ending this second break, that is something I’m extremely wary of. I don’t want the same thing to repeat again. But I feel as if I’m conscious of it, I won’t let it happen. As I mentioned in my last post, the loneliness aspect isn’t helping my sanity. So I’m taking steps to befriend some normal people (normal as in non-teacher friends). I joined “meet-up” and will be taking some tennis lessons, attending a painting party, as well as swimming with manatees (yippeee!). This year, I don’t want to survive. I want to live.

Also, I keep telling myself this, but I haven’t fully internalized it yet. My dreading and stressing not only took away most of my break, but it’s keeping me from moving forward. It’s taking away the energy I would have had to start planning for the new year. So why stress?? It ain’t no thaaang

But my frantic state-of-mind isn’t so much contributed to teaching as it is my life outside. I know that I’m going back to Miami with lots of roommate drama (word of advice: no matter how convenient it may be, don’t live with other corps members…or do? just choose wisely). I’m going back to a lot of conversations where I will have to be the more mature one. I’m going back to having to do extraneous work that I wouldn’t have to do if this drama did not exist. I’m going back to having to extend grace and love to people who are difficult to love. I’ve been putting so much energy to even attempt to unconditionally love my kids, that I don’t think I have the strength to do it to other people. I just don’t think my heart is that big or capable of loving that much. To love people who hurt you, it sucks. But I’m reminded that that was what was done for me when Christ died on the cross. What I’m going through, may not be fair. However, the greatest injustice ever done to man was when Jesus was tortured and crucified. Mine is only a tiny bit, yet it’s so hard to endure. But that’s what grace is.

The funny thing is, my heart is changing as I write this. Yes, I’m going to have to confront many fears, hardship, and pain when I go back. But this pain is divine because it gives me insight into God’s heart and God’s pains, though only a tiny fraction. I’m humbled by the fact that I can experience, even just a little, of what God experiences. How his heart breaks and aches when his love is not reciprocated, and still, he would take us back in less than a second. I just have to be reminded that God has a plan for me, the best possible plan ever- “plans to give me a hope and a future” and that everything that happens-whether I see as good or bad- will work towards the good of those who love Him. This whole year, it has been God who’s carried me through. How will he not carry me through the rest?

The slumber is officially ending. I’m coming out from hibernation.

About this Blog

first thoughts from a first year

High School

Subscribe to this blog (feed)