Becoming…

After a couple weeks of lame productivity, my kids are in CT and I am buckling down for a few days of 24/7 work.

This is one of those times when I question why I left teaching high school: SUMMER.

I worked during the summer while I was a high school teacher, but I never after I had my kids. Before my kids, I trained new teachers, taught online graduate school education classes, wrote curriculum–but the work was supplemental and low stakes. Now, as a professor, I work my ass off in the summer. I am writing a book proposal, an academic article, a research project, stuff for research clearance. I am trying to write in this space, keep my Huffington Post gig from getting stale, and updating my resume. I have to do a reappointment binder (because I don’t have tenure and have to be reappointed each year for six years) which is due in September. I am reading for new courses and reading for myself.

It does not feel like a vacation.

So the doubt creeps in. I suck at this, I think. I was good in high school–I never should have left, I argue to myself. I beat myself up, I get discouraged, I feel lame and unworthy of this job and title and path I have chosen. I get stressed. I become a shitty mom.  I feel guilty. I should have stayed at the job at Brooklyn Tech–it would have been so easy, I tell myself. I should have stayed at my old school, I begin in my head yet again, missing my old coworkers and the building that I called home for so long. My mind wanders.

Then I remind myself that it takes YEARS to figure out a career. YEARS. I was a okay teacher for a long time until I became what I considered good. The  principal whom I struggled with my last year of teaching high school has, according to my friends who remain at the school, become a good administrator the past two years since I left–and I don’t doubt it at all.  She did some courageous new work that first year (had all the students attend the student talent show, had a end-of-year summer festival in the side yard) that really built school community and in retrospect, I can see that  I just caught her on her first year when she was figuring it all out and FIGURING IT ALL OUT IS HARD. That hard work is what I am stuck doing now. I have only been at this two years…

Regardless, I am becoming, slowly, a professor. I just spent the afternoon changing my resume into an Academic CV. I know that sounds trite, but it’s a different format and was quite a pain and I had nobody to coach me minus this woman’s website, but it’s done. Now I have an Academic CV and I feel so very professorial. I am becoming…it’s slow and painful and full of questioning, but it’s happening.

Now back to work.

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