I struggled this year as a teacher. Hired mid-year and sharing a position, I faced many challenges. In fact, the year itself was a challenge. My son was not adjusting to daycare and was self mutilating. He got diagnosed with a speech disorder. I moved. My work supervisor was involuntarily transferred and I ended up without an official supervisor. I didn't know anything about the school and had to learn and stumble as each day progressed. I ended up loathing my job. With no support, no network, and procedures and culture against my philosophy of education, I was left downtrodden. I felt the school did not support what students needed, leaving them to be lazy and crazy in the classroom. Add in pregnancy hormones and whoa. What a year.
Any time I had a question, concern, or need I had no clue who to contact. I would hear names and see faces and yet never knew who was who and no one wanted to help me. I was never formally observed. Often, office memos would skip me until the last second; once we had a lock-down drill and no one told me it was a drill. No one checked my classroom. It was like I did not exist. And as the classroom swelled with noise and every bit of cohesiveness crumbled, I felt invisible. Like a ghost in my own classroom.
I ended up with mild depression every day, dreading work. I even began the resignation process but realized it meant more harm than just sticking through it. I counted down the days until the end, days that never seemed to come.
And here I am, with three days left. It feels bittersweet. Once again, I will look into a silent, dark, empty room, a place I spent too many hours in, and say goodbye, closing a chapter of my life. See, teaching isn't just a career but a lifestyle. I will remember the classroom but it won't remember me. Someone else will fill it, and likely stay many years. The students will forget the teacher they had part time, part year, even if I won't forget them. The staff has already forgotten me, and no one in charge seemed to know I existed. As I lock the door and turn in the keys, I will in a sense, disappear forever, just a ghost in the classroom, and only I know I exist.