The school year is wrapping up, and although it's been a tough year, I must say that the old adage about "whatever is good to know is difficult to learn" has completely proven itself true. I've had to come to terms with a few people that I had a hard time working with, and boy, that was way more challenging that I thought it could be. I have always felt like I'm the kind of person that can get along with anyone, but this year pushed me in that area, and out of my comfort zone in many, many other ways. I had no idea how this year would turn out, and after a good deal of negative feedback, I have gotten a real grasp of knowing who I am as a teacher, where my strengths lie, and what I am motivated by. Let me just tell you right now, I am not motivated by micromanagement. Big surprise, right? Last year, I was teacher of the year for my elementary school. But several leadership changes later, I don't feel like I am perceived as the same teacher that previous leadership believed me to be. The high-stakes testing seems to be getting crazier as well, and I feel like, as I have heard so many other teachers say, that I have, under such unrelenting pressure, been forced to become part of the problem instead of the solution. It's a strange place to be: I love my job, and I love working with kids, but with so little freedom to teach and the constant restrictions I'm being placed under, I often feel like a terrible teacher who is giving her students a less-than-stellar education. So instead of staying and feeling like a failure, I have decided to pursue other avenues where I think I will be much happier. My dream is to find a school where teachers are given the freedom to teach children how to thinkinstead of teaching rote memorization of facts that they have no idea how to apply to their learning. It is amazing how much has changed just in the seven years that I have been a teacher, and I've always felt like I could work the system enough to satisfy both the standardized test requirements and teach using critical and creative thinking, but lately, with the restrictions we have all been placed under, I just haven't felt that was possible. So I'm moving on, and hopefully moving up.
As far as my cancer survivor status goes, I am still blessed to be considered NED. With my own research and a lot of help from some open minded doctors, I feel like I've found a maintenance therapy that I am pleased with and that may even be helping me to keep melanoma at bay. In September, it will be seven years since I finished Interferon, and although I'm still not 100% of what I was physically, I feel like I am better every year. I even have a new friend that has been helping me to overcome the chronic fatigue symptoms I have experienced for the past years, and I am happy to say that I am able to get a good cardio workout in 5 days a week now. That was practically impossible before this year, except during the summer time, when I had the rest of the day to rest and recover. It's also good, because after my back injury last year, I was told this year that I need to lose 30 pounds in the next six months. That should sound totally feasible, except living in a post menopausal body makes things substantially more difficult. I know it's not impossible, but I also know that I I haven't lost a pound in the last 3 years. lol Oh well, more to learn I guess.
My cancer support group, which numbered 10 in the first year, has dwindled to 6, and one has moved away, so we now are at 5. One of our own has had a recurrence recently, and is struggling to stay mobile. Her pain is being managed, but as always, it is tough to see a friend going through such a draining and painful disease. We are doing our best to keep her from feeling isolated, which I'm sure she feels, barely able to leave her house. Your positive thoughts and prayers are needed. Please send them her way.
Hope you all are wonderful, too!