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my fall into bitchdom

After wrestling with accusations from a student that I have been mean to her I realized that I can make excuses for my behavior, manipulate her into thinking she deserved what I said, try to convince her I didn't say such things, or claim I was just joking but really I just need to own up to the fact that I have been acting like a complete bitch to my students this year.

I am such a bitch to them. I yell at them, roll my eyes at them, sneer at them, and mock them. I never smile. I have no patience for their immaturity, insolance, and lack of brains. I'm mean to my husband. I kick my dogs. I want to throw things. And I can't tell yet if I have turned into a bitch for good or if there is hope. I keep thinking I am having a bad week and that it will pass. It's not passing so here I am, a bitch.

I tell my students I care. I pretend I am still a good teacher, which is why I have taken to blaming them for eveything. I haven't wanted to admit that I am just acting like a bitch. I tell my students to talk to me if they have a problem with something I am doing. But I don't want to hear it. I tell them that I care about their learning, their issues, their day. But I don't. I don't care because I now lack the capacity to carry any of their words. And I certainly don't feel like explaining (or excusing) why I have gotten to this point. I'm not about to go into a psychological analysis of my fall into bitchdom. I understand it, but they certainly don't need to delve into my personal life. So I've taken to denying my actions and claiming that I still want to help them through their problems and that I still want to see that spark of learning in their eyes. Honestly, I don't care about the freaking spark. Just don't piss me off. Do your work and shut up. I tried to tell someone today that my favorite thing to do is take students abroad when I realized that, while I had a fantastic trip to Guatemala and am planning another trip this summer, I don't know if that's completely true anymore.

I realized today that denying how I feel is not really helping anyone. I am telling poor innocent children that I care about them and then turning around and treating them like crap. Telling them I care and thinking that I still care (all because some part of myself still wants to care and wants to see myself as the Glinda the Good Witch who cares) is a bunch of shit if I can't show it. Words are empty. That's what I realized today. So, for now at least, I am playing the part of bitchy teacher number one-million-and-seventy-two.

I hope I am just playing a part for now, to fulfill some segment of my journey. But honestly, I have to accept where I am at for now because I cannot make a decision to stay here or find my way back to being a loving, caring teacher if I don't even admit that I have fallen. I have fallen so far. I am just not nice, that's the plain and dirty truth. I hope there is such a thing as redemption in my future.

Vacation will help, but I am not even sure I can undo the damage I have done to a few of my students this year. I am grateful to the one student who finally said something, but I just don't know if I can guarantee that I can do something about it. She and the others might just have to write me off as one of the bitchy teachers who shouldn't be teaching. I just don't know if I can be the teacher I used to be, or just be a new version of myself that's nice. It's not like I don't know why I am where I am - I do. But excuses don't cut it and it's just not a quick fix. It's not like I haven't been trying, all year long, to stay the person I was. I have realized mistakes all this year and then go back to the classroom with what I believe to be a stronger face and a nicer attitude. It has lasted for a day, or a couple hours. So today I decided to admit that I am being a bitch so that I can say it like it is and work on not becoming a bitch for good.

The scene from Julie & Julia where Julie realizes she has been a total bitch has been replaying in my head for a while now. I think I now know why. I see myself in her and know I need to come to her same conclusion before I can properly move on.

I think a true sign of my fallen state is that I just swore more than I have ever sworn in my whole life up until now. Or maybe that's just me learning that there is a time and a place for such things. Who knows...

Sometimes you just need to drive to another country.