Saturday, October 16, 2010

rejection / failure

I got an email from a 1st/2nd grade teacher about how counseling class, that I teach alone, has a negative impact on her students & how incredibly unhappy she is. I feel stupid & like I suck. Teachers don't like that they have me instead of my supervisor, like it isn't fair that they get the "intern" & not the "real" counselor. It was a class that ended with 3 boys crying & fighting - I should have gone to the teacher to report it & get guidance, but I didn't. They weren't crying by the end of our meeting after. But apparently two other kids cried later. What the heck did I do???

I know these are life lessons, but I feel like I failed. I hate failing and making mistakes, like I should naturally be able to do it all well. I know I am new at this and haven't worked with little kids in 14 years and never as a teacher, but I thought it was going okay, sans the crying children . . . but 6 & 7 year olds cry when they say mean things to each other. Well, 32 year olds cry when they feel like they did something wrong . . .

But there really is this air of annoyance that they get me instead of my supervisor. I hate that. Like I suck just because I am not already licensed. They seem to forget that there is a time when they were in training too. But I hate that my supervisor will talk to the teacher without me because I am not there on Mondays & that makes me feel awkward.

I put all of this pressure on myself, like I represent me, my supervisor and my school and so when I screw up it reflects poorly on everything. Which I realize is a little self-aggrandizing. And on most levels I know that I am over-reacting but it is my first big incident & it comes from the scariest teacher at the school. She is amazing with little kids but REALLY intimidating. I am afraid that I will cry when we all meet, or even just my supervisor and I meet.

So my ultimate over-reaction? I should just quit & accept failure. Because THAT'S the best choice.

I went to that bad place. The one where I think, OH MY GOD I should have stayed in the couples, marriage & family counseling program. OH MY GOD how much debt will I be in to become something I am bad at???

These are the times when I am supposed to remember why I have the words "It Is" literally tattooed on my skin. It is for two reasons, one being the theory that life is what it is, and what matters is what we do with it. Like the platitude, "this too shall pass", the idea is that some things are out of control, even the responses to things that were in our control, and as scary as it may feel, the situation will pass. (Although as a side note, I kind of think that teaching 1st & 2nd graders may sometimes involve kid's behavior that is a little out of my control) And that before it does pass, all I can do is make the choice to deal with it, be humbled and accept what has happened, and whatever consequences befall on me. OR to make the choice of running and hiding, or simply quitting.

I am supposed to go to a festival at the school today, I don't want to because I will have to see the teacher and my supervisor and I feel ashamed and weak. And I REALLY don't fit in at this school, so it feels awkward. You are expected to come for the whole thing, bond and share in cider and a harvest dinner. I want to stop by, see some kids, have some cider and leave.

Exactly when will I develop social skills to interact with other grown ups? Does that come in my mid-30s?

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About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel