The October Cry

1 Nov

They say (and by “they” I mean almost every teacher I’ve ever talked to) that, in your first year of teaching, you will cry in October. Probably more than once. Whatever it is that sets you off, it will boil down to this: teaching is hard work. Harder than you imagined. You will be tired, you will be frustrated, and you will not be sure you know what you are doing.

Friends, I hit that wall last week, and I’m not even “actually” teaching yet. I still have another year until I’m “supposed” to hit that October wall.

And yet, I found myself there, sitting in class, feeling completely lost, completely exhausted, and completely overwhelmed. I may have teared up a little.

Then I got home. And my house was a mess. And it was almost Halloween, which was, once upon a time, a holiday I really enjoyed. And my cat threw up. And that was it. I cried.

I cried as I cleaned the rug.

I cried as I washed some dishes.

I cried as I tried to fold laundry.

When my boyfriend came home, the real waterworks began.

What am I doing? Am I really cut out to be a teacher? I can’t even keep my house clean, who is going to trust me with a classroom full of children? And so on, and so on.

Luckily, I live with a supportive, caring man who told me to suck it up (in a supportive and caring way, of course.) He reminded me that I am impatient, and want my life to immediately be how I envision it – but that’s not how the world works. He reminded me that I am used to things coming easily for me, and don’t know how to handle it when they are not. He reminded me of how much I want to be a teacher, and how many people I have supporting me, and how lucky I am to have him. (He didn’t say that last part, but I think it’s obvious, don’t you?)

And the next day, I got up, and went to class, and discussed life and school with my classmates and professor, and discovered that I was not alone. We are all hitting a wall, in one way or another. And we are lucky to have each other.

I think that may be the best thing about this program I am in. I have 25 other people who understand what I’m going through. Twenty-five people to discuss teaching, classes, students, art, music, books, Halloween costumes, silly stories, and whatever else with. We are not all alike. We range in age from just-graduated college to having-college-aged-children. We are liberal, conservative, male, and female. And we are all passionate and excited about teaching. We support each other, care about each other, and listen to each other.

I am so looking forward to becoming teachers with these people.

Also I’m excited that October is over. November resolution: Don’t cry over inconsequential things like a reading about lesson plans.


9 Responses to “The October Cry”

  1. for whom the bell rings November 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I think we just have to keep upping our caffeine intake, find some time to just kick back, and do something purely for the fun of it. Reading and writing has nearly become a chore, but I tried just reading and writing for fun again, and it was good. TV seems the most obvious place of solace, but being productive in other ways makes me feel that my life hasn’t been sucked out of me. We’re all going to make it, we just need help along the way.

    • teacherbecoming2013 November 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      I just read an article on Apartment Therapy called “Using Your Home to Reach Your Dreams” ( – it’s about creating a space in your home to work towards your dream. I made myself a workspace, and yet I find myself attempting to do my homework on the couch/at the table/in bed. I’m going to attempt to make my workspace my space for work, and the rest of my home a space for relaxation. Hopefully that will help!

      • teacherbecoming2013 November 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

        …she wrote, as she sat on the couch. That is irony, Alanis.

  2. imgettingschooled November 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    They must have been thinking when they decided to do this cohort thing. The best part of this process of becoming a teacher is that we are all going through it together. We can vent to each other, we can find support, we can give an encouraging word because we are all in it together.
    We have to remember like most things in life, it’s a marathon not a sprint. We won’t be perfect teachers out of the gate, then we were wrong about a teacher being a professional. I’ve only just recently heard of the 10,000 hour rule. By that rule of thumb, we have to have patience and lots of practice.
    We aren’t on this journey by ourselves. To quote the Oscar worthy High School Musical, “We are all in this together.”

  3. teacherpostscript November 5, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    I bought really cute coffee cups this weekend, and I’ll let you use one tomorrow. Let’s have a coffee drinking contest!

    • teacherbecoming2013 November 5, 2012 at 1:24 am #

      We are going to need it! A meeting BEFORE our 9-hour day?

      • teacherpostscript November 5, 2012 at 2:50 am #

        I don’t know if our carpool is organized enough to be at school at 8:30. 😉 See you guys at 9!

  4. dl5pgh November 5, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    You know what the best part about this group of people is? The fact that it doesn’t matter what age someone is, whether they have kids or not, whether they are from here or there but that no matter what you all make me smile. Good days. Bad Days. Sunshine. Rain. Someone says something that melts all the stress away and makes me smile. So THANK YOU to all 25 of you. This is an incredible experience and you all make a huge difference.

    We will not teach alone and we are not learning to teach alone. We are all here for each other. Don’t forget that and a don’t forget to reach out.

    And don’t forget to smile and laugh!!!

    • teacherbecoming2013 November 5, 2012 at 6:04 am #

      We are all very different people, and there is no way that we would have come together without this program – and yet I can’t imagine going through it without each and every one of you. I am so very excited to continue this journey as we all becoming teachers, and continue to support and learn from one another.

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