Sunday Post | An update from Purgatory?

September 6, 2015 Sunday Post 47

Welcome to My Sunday Post!
Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer. Basically it’s a chance to talk about the books you bought, borrowed, blogged about, and read for the week and what’s coming in the week ahead – and then share them with a much wider blogging community. Check out the details here.

News at Home

First off a HUGE thank you to all the warm comments, encouragement and support you all gave me last week. I wish I had the time to individually reply to each comment but I’m being realistic and honest – I don’t. Please know that I read them all and they meant the world to me. To have you all behind me, understanding HOW I feel made me stronger and helped me feel that how I was feeling was truly legitimate. So THANK YOU!!!

You’ll notice from my post title that we’ve moved from hell to purgatory. So yeah, things aren’t good, but they’re better. Does it help that I’ve polished off a few bottles of wine this week? Absolutely! And does a three day weekend help? Hell yes! But some other things happened that have made things a smidge better.

I went in Monday ready to do the best I could. I decided that if the day was still hell I’d quit and if it felt ANY better I’d stay. Well the sub that’s been acting as my aid – because yeah, on Monday I had a class of 20 kids but TECHNICALLY I don’t have an aid – had to cover a fourth grade class. So I was on my own. For the third time. And it was the inner circle of Hell. I sat through our daily meeting and actually did a planning session with the principal still not sure what I was going to do. But after I talked with one of my co-workers and realized, no. This isn’t working. This CAN’T be my life. So I went to her office to talk to her… and she had already left for the day. Yes it was 5pm. But lord, I haven’t gotten out of there by 5pm even once!

I tracked down her phone number and called her and told her that “life is too short to be this miserable without any hope of things ever getting better. Not only am I unhappy, but I’m not teaching my kids anything. I’m the wrong person for this.” Yeah, I tried to quit. We had a thirty minute conversation and basically she did everything she could to convince me not to quit. She told me that the fact that I care that I’m not teaching the kids is why she knows she has to keep me on staff – because too many people wouldn’t care that they weren’t being effective. She promised me that they – SHE – could do more to help me be successful. I told her that I was doing all I could but if she could do more, I needed to see it because I couldn’t keep going like this.

So yeah. Basically I told her I’d stay, but she needed to bring it. I told her that I wasn’t afraid of hard work, but I did feel that my situation was harder because of what they did to me and I WOULDN’T live like this. And then I went home and drank my first bottle of wine for the week.

Well, I was excited about coming to this school because I felt that the administration were good people. The last few weeks I’ve been nervous that my initial assessment was wrong. Turns out, it wasn’t. I just needed to scream loud enough to be heard, because they’ve got lots of screaming going on I guess. The next day was like a constant flood of support. Questions I’ve been asking and begging for answers to were answered. By 8am, three of my six most challenging students (though not the most challenging) had been switched to the other kinder teacher’s class (who, BTW had 4 fewer students than me despite having more experience. WTF?!). I tried to give them my 3 most challenging, but they told me that they didn’t want all 3 of them in the same class. Again, I say, WTF?! They were all in MY CLASS for a week! They apologized and said that should have been caught and shouldn’t have happened. Yeah.

By 9am, I had someone in my room helping with my most challenging remaining students. At 10:30 (my lunch “break”) I met with the old Kinder teacher and FINALLY got answers to a ton of questions I’ve had about how EXACTLY we teach some of this stuff. Throughout the day people were in and out giving me resources, showing me how to use this and that. By the time I left on Tuesday I was overwhelmed with information, but I finally had it.

On Wednesday the principal stopped by, gave me a hug and asked how I was feeling. There were clearly no hard feelings and she thanked me for giving her a chance to show me that they could give the support I needed.

Did that fix everything? No, not at all. I still have had serious problems with behavior all week. I’m still working ridiculous hours. I’m still exhausted and I’m still pretty sure that I’m never going to fall in love with teaching kinder. I want more challenging content (not the numbers 1-5 over and over) and older kids. The songs that are stuck in my head every day drive me crazy. I find myself singing the months of the year song or Who Let the Letters Out.

But can I survive? I think so. There’s even been some moments where the kids actually make me smile. And as crazy as they drive me, they seem to love me. When it’s time to let them go at the end of the day almost every single one of them gives me a hug. It’s going to be a long year and I think I’m going to really increase my alcohol tolerance. But I might actually survive.

Oh and I almost forgot – I did have one win moment this week. The superintendent was at our school on Thursday, without warning of course. I was at the carpet with my kids reading them David Goes to School and I saw him walking in the hallway. He turned and walked into my classroom and I almost died as I turned the page and kept reading to the kids. Miracle of miracles, they all stayed quiet, in their spots with their hands in their lap like they were supposed to. He left and I let out a premature breath of relief because 5 minutes later he was walking back and walked in again! This time we were talking about the characters in the book. And miracle of miracles they were participating like they’re supposed to! Raising their hands excitedly and waiting to be called on. Even my most difficult student was actually on the carpet instead of in the middle of some fight with my helper. That’s happened like 5 times so far and he came into the room 2 of those times! The report from the principal was that he was really happy with what he saw at the school and that every classroom he entered he saw quality teaching and engaged learners. So yeah, that’s my win for a while!! LOl!

Blog News

The state of my reading and reviewing is laughable. I actually don’t even know where my kindle is exactly. I know it’s in my house somewhere. Probably under a pile of ABC magnets or some craft project. I am reading a book- a little every night – so that’s exciting. I have so many reviews to write and publish it’s scary. And I’m not listening to an audiobook right now! OMG!!! But I really hope to fix that this week – I need to reclaim ME. So I hope that you’re going to start seeing me on the blog a few times a week starting this week. I might even get to start replying to comments and visiting people again!!! Wouldn’t that be great?! Thanks for being so understanding and patient 🙂

#FitReaders Update

I may cancel my gym membership – I miss my zumba classes but I don’t know if getting to the gym is a reasonable expecation. I am averaging at least 10k steps a day though. And I’m still not eating much – a granola bar and skim milk for breakfast, protein shake for lunch, and something light for dinner with wine or water. Lots of water. I’ve lost 15 pounds since starting this job actually. So that’s a plus, kind of. I don’t think that rapid weight loss is healthy, but I’ve got plenty to lose so I’m not complaining.

Last Week on the Blog

This Week on the Blog Look For:

COYER Wrap Up Post (this afternoon)
Hopefully a couple reviews

How was your week?

I made it out of hell! Now in purgatory! Check out my Sunday Post to see how. Click To Tweet Follow on Bloglovin


Photo of Berls
About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

47 Responses to “Sunday Post | An update from Purgatory?”

  1. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    So glad things have moved up, even if it’s still purgatory. I hope it gets better and better for you! I wish I could lose weight, and I thought maybe with not really eating as much that would help, but it doesn’t. I’ve rejoined a gym so I don’t have the heat as an excuse for not exercising.

    You can check out my Sunday post in the link below!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Sunday Post #35 and Stacking the Shelves September 6th, 2015My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Lisa! It’s been marginally better this week – though I may just be learning to accept bad…

      Good luck with your weight loss! I know too well how hard it is too lose and how frustrating it is when changes don’t make a difference. Hopefully the gym will help!

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    I agree with your principal – the fact you care that you felt you weren’t ‘teaching’ the kids something means you’re exactly the person who should be teaching. But this I already knew. 😉 Teaching kindies is probably not the place for you but hopefully after you survive the year, they’ll move you up to the older kiddos. In the meantime, know I’m sending positive thoughts and lots of hugs your way! <3 Oh, and wine makes everything better. 😉 I'm really happy that you spoke up though, and that you were listened to. That says a lot about the administration. And I'm glad you got some resources and information to help ground you in there. Yay for your *win* of the week. That is rather awesome, I must say! I do hope you get back some time for YOU because that is important. Maybe in the next few weeks, things will calm down and you'll get back to other things that are important to you. Hang in there, girl! *hugs*
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…#COYER Review ~ On the Record ~ KA LindeMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Brandee! One thing I’ve come to realize is that I have managed to get control of most my class now. It’s just 2-3 kids that give me trouble. Problem is, it takes one to complete derail everything. So 2-3!? Yeah, it’s a disaster. But it makes me feel better to know it’s just a few!

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    Oh my Berls, can I just hug you? *hugs* I am glad you spoke up, a new teacher should never be left alone. So glad the darlings were good during the Superintendent’s visit.I giggled at the songs in your head. We have PBS on in the background during the day..Sophia loves Super Why, Sesame Street etc and dances to the songs..but the hubby and I have then permanently burned in our brains. Hope you find your kindle soon and remember how to use it.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Reawakened by Colleen HouckMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Kimba, I need all the hugs (from adults) that I get! Lol I know what you mean about the songs – they just settle in and won’t go away! Good news – I found my kindle last night and even charged it! Soon I might get to read something on it 🙂

  4. Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

    It’s good that things are getting better for you! I know how hard it is to start a new job and they start piling all of these assignments on you at the last second. That’s how my job at Dollar General is, since there are some days where I have to work 6 days a week because another employee didn’t show up and I have to take their shift. Hopefully, things will get better at Dollar General and I hope that things get better for you on your new job!
    Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog) recently posted…The Sunday Post Meme (31)My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Ronyell! New jobs can be so overwhelming in general, and when you add not liking everything you have to do to the mix it’s so frustrating. Hopefully things get better on all fronts for both of us 🙂

    • Berls

      Thanks! I’m definitely hoping that they next several weeks go by much better than the first two! For me to stay at this school next year something miraculous would have to happen between now and the end of the year. Because as it stands now, my only goal is to make it through the year. Then I’m applying to middle and high schools so this CAN’T happen again!

  5. Kathy

    It’s good to hear this was a better week for you. It’s nice to know they are finally listening to you and helping you. But I hope you get a chance to teach the grade you really wanted to soon. I understand how you feel about hating your job because I’m going through it now. This is my first week as dept manager and I hate it already. I am in so many meetings and I can’t get anything done. I wish I never took this job! I hope this week is better for both of us =)
    Kathy recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up #68My Profile

    • Berls

      Uh! I’m sorry that stinks Kathy 🙁 I know jobs aren’t everything, but having one you don’t enjoy really can make things miserable. I hope we both have much better weeks!!

    • Berls

      I appreciate it Bea. You’re welcome to come teach my kiddos lol 🙂 I’m trying to take care of myself a bit better and find balance. I’m learning that there will always be more to do and I just have to do what I can and then call it a day.

  6. Stormi

    I hope you make it out of Purgatory an into at least a semi happy medium of sorts. I know you will not be at your happiest because your not teaching the students you wanted. I do hope it gets easier for you and I am glad you stood up for yourself and let the principal know how you felt so that you could get the help you needed. I hope as the weeks go by you will see things get better and better. *hugs*

    All your fans are hear waiting for you to come back to us and we know you are still around..we know you are lurking…lol. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…The Week In Review #52My Profile

    • Berls

      Lol totally lurking 🙂 I think I’m going to be around a lot more starting this week. I want to do well at my job, but I can’t give it 100% of myself. It’s too much. I can’t wait for this year to be over! I bet we’ll be in Chicago before we know it (because I’m so taking off – screw the job lol!)!

    • Berls

      Hopefully. I think part of the trouble with my problem students has also been me not knowing how to handle them. But I’m learning. If I knew how to teach Kinder material it would have been easier for sure.

  7. Katherine

    I laughed when I saw your title today and hoped it meant good things. It definitely sounds like you have found a wonderful school with lots of support and I’m glad you yelled loud enough to get the support you needed. Hopefully things will continue to improve to bearable and that very soon you’ll be moved up to a grade that suits you. I think your principal was right. Just the fact that you care that much shows you’re definitely in the right profession. Have a great week!
    Katherine recently posted…This Week in Reading – September 6My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Katherine. I know that I’ll be stuck in Kinder this school year, but hopefully it’ll get bearable and then next year I can get a job teaching where I belong!

  8. Lark

    Big hugs, Berls! I am so glad you’re getting some good support at last. It sounds as though things are on the upswing. And if those kids are hugging you, it’s a really good sign. They recognize that even when you’re stressed out, you care about them and about being a good teacher for them.

    I know all about not being able to eat when you’re really anxious and under stress… but try to take care of yourself. Teaching takes a heck of a lot of energy, and you need to replenish it – both physically and emotionally.

    Bless you, and bless the kids, and I hope that you all have an even better week this week.
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 9/06/15My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Lark! They are on an upswing, for sure. I hope I can keep them moving in that direction. It would be so nice if I could actually enjoy my job! I agree though, them hugging me is a good sign. I just wish they respected me better. My goal this week is to do better being consistently firm with consequences. It’s hard because I have some kids who are so BAD that I probably let small things slide when I shouldn’t. Fingers crossed!

  9. A Voracious Reader

    You’ve been on my mind and I was even telling my husband about your situation and he agreed that it was bullshit. So now, I can’t tell you how glad I am that things are a bit better for you, Berls. I hope things continue to improve and I will send out my strongest {{{posivibes}}} to help that along. And having the kids hug you each day, well, that counts big time. 🙂 As for the gym membership, it doesn’t make sense to pay for something you aren’t using and you can always sign up again when things settle down. Mmm…wine. I like a good moscato. If you can find Luccio Moscato D’asti then give it a try. It’s my favorite and right now I can’t find it anywhere!! *cries*
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 108th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls

      Yeah I’ve decided to cancel it. I just don’t see the point of having it right now. Like you said I can always pick it back up, but I think it will be a long while (Christmas break?!) before I have that kind of time. What they did was total bullshit and it pisses me off that I had to try and quit before I got the support I needed. BUT they did deliver on their promises and quickly, so maybe I wasn’t asking the right people or loud enough. Now to survive!

    • Berls

      Oh and I forgot to mention – the wine I’ve been drinking is Moscato! I need to look up that brand, never had it before.

  10. Lola

    I am so glad to hear things are going a bit better and they are finally hearing and helping you, that’s good to hear! It sounds like it still will be hard, but at least like it’s manageable now. I guess you really just needed to scream loud enough to get heard, but at least it’s good that they are doing thigns to help you know. I hope things will improve even more in the next few weeks!

    And that’s good to hear you started reading again! Just a little bit every night still is a god thing. I hope you’ll have some more time for fun things and to relax this weekend!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #142My Profile

    • Berls

      I started an audio book today and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be reclaiming that bit of myself. I wish things were good at work, but as long as they’re survivable I guess that’s a huge improvement.

    • Berls

      Lol I don’t know, but if it does I hope I find time to watch it. I’m trying to force my ME time back into my life. No matter how much work I do, there’s always more to do. So I need to stop and take care of me a bit more, I’m realizing.

  11. Ramona

    * Much Love *
    Now this is more like it! But why did the administration had to wait until you almost lost your mind in order to do right by you? Man… You’re awesome, Berls. And you’re strong, and so, you’re going to make it! Lots of love & congrats on the win w/superintendent 😉
    Ramona recently posted…Sexism In PublishingMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Ramona! It’s funny because I was just saying how weak I feel, that a bunch of 5 year olds have practically beaten me down. But 20:1 are not fair odds lol! Here’s hoping you’re right 🙂

  12. Red Iza

    What you said about your meeting with the principal reminded me of something that happened in one library in Paris : the head of the library went to the Board of libraries to protest against diminishing her staff. She told them again and again how the library couldn’t work that way. They didn’t care. On the next meeting, she got mad and banged her fist on the table. The Board told her they thought she had agreed working with less people because she hadn’t got mad the first time ! Crazy, huh ?
    About the zumba class, it may be a relief for you to attend it, but given the circumstances, you might want not to push yourself too far, so don’t what’s comfortable with you.
    I’m glad you’re out of hell, at least, and hope/wish that things will get better *BIG HUGS*
    Red Iza recently posted…The Sunday post #55 : the erratic bloggerMy Profile

    • Berls

      Isn’t it insane that you have to go to extreme measures to be heard? I wasn’t bluffing either, I really was quitting. I’m still not sure if staying was the right thing but I guess time will tell. Thanks 🙂

  13. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I’m glad you’ve moved out of hell and towards purgatory, Berls. Who knows, maybe you’ll reach middle earth soon-ish? It makes me feel so bad for you that you had to say you were quitting for them to actually take action to give you some real help and really listen to you, though. It’s not good for you to feel so stressed out about work that you don’t even know when you’ll get any ME time in, or feel like yourself
    And please make sure you eat good meals, even if you aren’t particularily healthy. Bring a little bag of veggies or fruits that are already cut so you get some fresh produce as well as your granola bars and protein shakes.
    I’m glad you got a good report, too, that your kids were actually behaving when the superintendent came into your room.
    I’m sure you can find a way to do this, Berls, I have confidence in you! You may not love teaching kindergarten, but you are giving it your all, and the kids will definitely take your lead.
    I hope you’ll get some rest this weekend, my dear. *BIG HUGS*
    Lexxie recently posted…The Sunday Post #48 – Fall is ApproachingMy Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Lexxie 🙂 I am eating veggies with dinner and sometimes a piece of fruit with breakfast. I just can’t stomach much, I’m so stressed.

      It really sucks that I had to say I was quitting to get the help I needed, but at least I got it I guess. I’m doing some work this weekend to try and fix a few things, but I’m also trying so hard to relax.

  14. Deborah

    Oh yay on the work front and I kinda get what your principal is saying – they’d love more teachers like you… ones that worry if they’re doing right by the kids and care about the work.

    I hope it keeps improving and it sounds like you’re probably doing much better than you realise!

    Hang in there!
    Deborah recently posted…Weekly check-inMy Profile

  15. Trish

    Well it all still sounds super stressful to me but I’m glad the Head stepped up to the plate a bit this week and started supporting you. I hope it continues and I think the lesson is that you need to tell them loud and clear what you need. It sounds like they tried to pull a fast one by giving you so many problem pupils but at least they eventually tried to rectify that. Despite it all, it sounds like you are doing great, I think you need to believe in yourself a bit more Berls, the fact the kids love you speaks volumes to me. You got this!
    Trish recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish News #84My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Trish, I’m trying to believe in myself. It’s hard when you’re too exhausted lol. But yeah, they really dealt me a bad hand. I mean you don’t want these kids in the same class, but you gave them ALL to me? The brand new teacher?! Oh well, at least this week felt survivable. Hopefully next week will be better.

  16. Kathryn

    Oops seem to be first here again this week. So pleased you did some straight talking to your Principal and you got a bit of support. I’m with you on teaching 5 year olds, wasn’t my thing either. They complete things too quick. I preferred the 10 -13 year olds. But I loved to have a 5 year old conversation every day. They are so refreshing (when met for a few minutes!!).
    Hope it continues and you keep getting the support. As well as rest, good food etc and finding the ME time. Awesome that you got the kids caught up in the book – count all the good moments, let the bad slide.
    Kathryn recently posted…Weekly Wrap. Fitreaders Check in.My Profile

    • Berls

      Lol A – as in 1 – five year old conversation a day is fine. They can be so sweet. But so exhausting too! I’m hoping for a good week, hopefully the three day weekend makes this week super easy 🙂

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