I can’t quit. I can’t quit, no matter how badly I want to at times. My pastor says that it’s okay to talk about quitting as long as you are not really going to quit. That line of “not really going to quit” gets a little blurry sometimes.
The battle of quitting is more a battle of my own inadequacies than it is a battle against the system. I battle my own expectations more than policy. I know that I hold myself to a higher standard than others. I’m not sure why.
Deep down I think that I can solve problems and get through to the kids that no one else can. I allow myself to get jealous of the relationships that my students have with other teachers. I want to do it all, and I want to be it all.
When I honestly look at it, I can see that the battle of quitting is really a battle against my pride. That precious flame that I kindle and stoke in the dark corners of my mind.
My pride is the worst of me reflected back under an insidious disguise of compassion and selflessness. It’s the monster I keep chained up in the back yard of my personality and hope that no one knocks on the rear gate. At least I like to think I keep it chained up.
The truth is, someone else could do my job. Someone else could teach just as well as, if not better than, I could. I’m never going to be Disney’s Teacher of the Year. I’m probably never going to get much of any recognition outside of the walls of my classroom. I’m replaceable. That shouldn’t be depressing; it should be humbling.
I can’t do it all, and I need to stop thinking that I can. But, I can give my best. By God’s grace I can get a little better each day and help my students do the same. And that has to be enough.