It’s OK to Cry… Right?

Weeks 77 and 78 – September 10, 2021 – What’s my value?

I missed last week’s reflection because everything was parked so that I could get orientation for teacher candidates prepped. It’s not to say that what transpired today has inspired me to write this week’s pandemic reflection, but I definitely had the urge to cry several times today, but resisted. I am just so glad the week is over and orientation was a success. It was my primary goal to ensure that the first days of teacher education, whether if the teacher candidate was returning or if they were new to the program, that the lingering feelings were joy, happiness, and belonging.

SIGH. Although the feedback I am hearing from Teacher Candidates are excellent and I feel very satisfied with the work that I have done in collaboration and consultation with others in the department, I still get pulled aside to and “put in my place” again for the decisions I had made and the actions I took. I have no regrets. And, I had no ill intent. I’m not sure what is said behind my back and how that information is interpreted, but I was told today is follow the collective agreement of the other employee groups and in the end, my work was belittled to “why didn’t you… [  ]?”

I had no words… LIE… I had lots of words and stated clearly my purpose, my drive, and my rationale. All arrows pointed to the student learning experience. I am 100% willing to take ownership of the decisions I made, but there were plenty of variables that made the journey to orientation challenging, uncertain, and delayed. I could not control those factors. All I could do was problem solve, adapt, and be reflexive. Was it perfect? Hell no. When is it ever perfect? And, what the hell does that mean? No one says what that mean, but today I did… and truth, I could say a lot more. But why?

Just throw me under the bus and move on. GAH. My goal was to ensure Teacher Candidates were engaged in a coherent, comprehensive, and collaborative orientation before the school year starts. Everyone had the opportunity to contribute and participate. I’m exhausted. I supported new faculty, contacted people when we pivoted, checked in with facilitators, co-published an orientation guide, and revised a PowerPoint show that took hours. Over a month of planning with hopes of landing on both feet. Do you know what? Everything that I have done will not help me get tenure.

That’s the kick in the mouth. Everything that I am doing is for the students and the program are not recognized in academia to further my career. WOW. That is the true awakening. It’s taken me about a year to realize this. I lost a tenure-track opportunity because I am investing my time in the wrong place. I am constantly in service to others and I am passionate about the program and its potential. I am not taking care of myself and neither will the system. As much as I wanted as strong start for the Teacher Candidates, my actions in doing so have negatively impacted my career.

GAWD. This idea is counterintuitive. Is it ok to cry? Do I value my worth? Maybe.