>Pushing to the Winter Break is always a challenge at school. The moodiness. The excitement. The full moon and lunar eclipse, concurrent with a snowstorm and other mood-altering atmospheric conditions — well, I can just say the last week of school in 2010 was more of a challenge than usual.
But I’m done. I survived. It’s over.
It’s more than over, though. I’m done – for the year. Not just 2010, but the full 2010-2011 school year. I’m taking a leave of absence from my teaching job from now until June.
Illness made teaching tough this year. Gout, flu-like virus, even the possibility of heart trouble had me missing more days than I wanted.
But more than that, school has been a struggle: a struggle that was making me sicker. I didn’t sleep well at night. Worries kept me awake, and when sleep did come, I’d awaken in a head to toe sweat. Stomach aches every Monday morning, heartburn and headaches Sunday nights, there were too many symptoms to ignore.
There were tipping points. Getting hurt while preventing a student from throwing a chair. Getting threatened by a student and seeing no administrative response whatsoever. Spending time late at night to leave decent sub plans – against the doctor’s advice – only to get all kinds of nasty notes about how my work hadn’t been sufficient.
Between me, the doctor, and my family, we decided it was time: time to look into a long-term leave. A time to recover, to heal, both physically and mentally. A time to really examine my commitment to teaching and whether it can weather this kind of conflict. Before I make any kind of decision on my future, I need to rest. Rest, recover, and feel good again — even on Mondays.