Summer Kickoff…

I am trying to relax.

It is now time off for teachers, and this past year has been a roller coaster of emotions at my school. Once a school that housed the brightest and best students, we are now seeing a new caliber of students who have mental struggles, vandalize the school property, and use illegal drugs. Last year was definitely not stellar.

Now that school is over, I had promised myself to relax. The older I get, the more I find that my patience is wearing thin. While I contemplate leaving education, I am tethered to it because I actually enjoy teaching literature and writing. Yet, when I think about the two professions, I have been trained for, both require stressful situations. I was a newspaper reporter for years, and I left that career because of the pressure. Transitioning into teaching was smooth; and I found that I could reach my students because of my love for reading and, of course, writing.

I started that teaching journey in the mid-1990s. That was almost 30 years ago (actually 26 years ago). People have changed… A LOT! I am struggling to keep students engaged, and with the heavy weight of showing educational chiefs that students are “growing” through assessments, the teaching profession has become very stressful.

That’s why I need my summer.

BUT…

A few days into this summer break, I see work emails, and yes, I check them just in case, and I begin to feel the anxiety rise up in me. The work emails are informing me that I have to meet on July 15th and on July 19th. I had one email from a student asking me why did he receive a 0 on an assignment, and he wanted me to explain to him what he did wrong. My answer was kind of snappy, but it was worth it. I told him I did not receive his assignment. Where and when did he send it to me, and why is he asking me now that school is over?

My anxiety.

Being a teacher has its rewards, but the reality is that a teacher is expected to work year round. You’re probably asking me, “why do you look at your email?” or, “why do you involve yourself in things that you have to meet so early in the summer?” I have an answer: Money. As a teacher, we don’t get paid that much, and everyone knows that. But, if I don’t take on extra “things,” I won’t have a comparable salary to survive.

If only, if only I could write for a living and get paid a high salary, I would do just this. I don’t mean writing for a newspaper or a magazine, but writing for myself. I am looking into all sorts of side gigs, specifically blogging for money. I need a following, and to tell you the truth, I don’t think I have a significant following for this blog. If I titled my blogs “SEX! DRUGS! ROCK N’ ROLL!” perhaps I could capture people’s attention and draw a following to make money from my blog.

I need to rest this summer. I need to rejuvenate myself and push my chair far away from the table. I overate anxiety during the school year, and my body is telling me that I need to stop eating, and feast on more healthy thoughts and feelings. I cannot worry about last school year or the upcoming school year. I have to think about today and about me, for a change.

So, if I don’t answer your calls, or accept lunch dates, just know that I am decompressing and that I am all right. However, I am asking for a favor, keep reading my blogs because I have a lot to write about, and it’s not all going to be about me.

Thank you for reading! Oh…and respond if you’d like to. I won’t bite!

Author: L.S. Watson

Hi. My name is L.S. Watson, and I'm an English teacher at a charter high school. I enjoy traveling (my favorite places are Rome and Paris), writing poetry, and watching documentaries. I have a lovable yet stubborn Yorkie-Poo named Chuy.

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