The following is an excerpt from the Introduction to Thrive: 5 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Teaching by Meenoo Rami
During my first few years as a teacher, a couple of times a year, a string of bad days would haunt me at school. During these days, it was difficult to fight the feelings of isolation, the sense that I was having no positive impact on my students; there were even curt interactions with students where I was left feeling that my work was not being appreciated by students, their parents, or the school community. The worst feeling was the sense that my students and I were just going through the motions of playing school rather than actually creating meaningful work together. The sheer exhaustion from long days of teaching, grading, and planning would leave me depleted, and I would have to push myself to find the strength to continue giving my best effort to my students. However, sometimes my best effort would not even be enough, and I would have this dreadful feeling that I wasn’t fully prepared to teach on that particular day. Giving anything less than best learning experiences to my students would leave me ridden with guilt. These feelings would often last more than a day; they would take over my mind and spirit for a while. I would question my decision to enter the classroom and generally feel like I had gotten lost at some point in my life and maybe had taken a wrong turn to arrive here in a classroom. I didn’t know then that these feelings were common among first year teachers and the reason why so many leave the profession early in their careers.