She'd been defaced. First a black eye. Then bloodshot eyes. Now blood trickles down her lip.
I no longer have my icon to remind me, more than the students really, "We Can Do It." Taking her off the board sent the message to me, "Can't."
Morale is down across the school--I know these aren't just my issues. I'm trying to fight through this. Trying to find the motivation to pull together and push on. Today was a hard one. But I didn't call in. My car was the second one in the school parking lot this morning.
I skipped the drum song because I couldn't face people quite yet. I'd almost collected myself and caught up to the point to be on pace with my work when a knock came at my door.
Someone else had called in sick so teachers were having to sub during their prep.
When your teachers are already at the breaking point, piling more work on them isn't going to improve the situation. My attitude went kerflump.
I think my tears is what prompted the assistant principal to tell me, "Dear, you need to take a personal day," and hand me a leave slip. I briefly talked with him, the principal, and the school's teacher mentor. It was clear that I needed a breather and they'd see me tomorrow. But I don't think any one of them has a clue that it was the subbing that sent me over the edge.
I feel guilty losing a learning day. Obviously there aren't subs. They advised me not to worry about running off worksheets, my students are going in with the PE class anyway. Tomorrow we're running a shortened schedule so we can have a Halloween party in the afternoon--there won't be enough time to explore new material.
But I know I'd be a waste today too. Half-a-prep wouldn't cut it on a day when I needed a whole one.
Hopefully taking today will help me get back on track. Help me remember why I'm teaching here. Help me believe that in fact I can do it.