So, I teach middle schoolers (11-14 year olds here). I am often asked why in the world I would do that, and if I'm honest, sometimes I do wonder! But, really, I do it because I understand them. I "get" them, if you will. I loved school when I was a kid-I came from a middle class family, had lots of friends, and got really good grades. Of course I loved school.
But my least favorite was definitely middle school. We judge each other, we are horribly cruel, our bodies are changing in all sorts of ways, not to mention (ahem) hormones. And I can pick out the kids (which is not to imply I have any sort of talent-when you see them everyday, you know!) who are struggling. And it breaks my heart. If I had any wish, I would sit them down and be like that story the Christmas Carol but only show them the future-and how if they don't want to let it, middle school can mean NOTHING to them! The friends they have now will probably not be the friends they have later on. Who you are in school doesn't HAVE to define who you are in the future. There are those stereotypes out there-you know-the dorky guy who had acne and glasses and no friends is now Bill Gates, a trillionaire or whatever. What is happening now does NOT need to define you (um, unless you work in a public school, because I think sometimes I feel like I still am in middle school).
I teach French (very beginning) but sometimes I come across a teachable moment. Today some of my 8th graders (13/14 yr olds) came in and they were very riled up. Something had happened and I wasn't sure what, but as the story unfolded we started to have a really good discussion. Now, you might say I'm a bad teacher because we didn't progress at all on conjugating -er verbs, but I disagree because life is so much a part of learning, and I might argue-life is more important to learn about than curriculum!
Anyway, we went down the path of comparing yourself to others. How dangerous that could be. The kids were asking really good, thoughtful questions and while I was pleased that they trusted me, I was nervous I'd give them the wrong advice.
Because in the middle of it, I realize I am doing EXACTLY what I'm advising them not to do. And it's dangerous. And bad.
Reading these blogs has been so good for me. But I think part of my anxiety right now is because I think of my story and I compare my situation to other bloggers and their journey and what *their* doctors do and how they are treated.
Because I am not getting a cerclage, but others are-I worry. Because this person lost twins and then had a perfect singleton, I think-that could be me! Because I read a blog where they've lost two seperate pregnancies, I worry-that could be me. I am constantly reading and trying to find someone exactly like me and that way I will know what will happen.
I compare my grief to others.
What if I don't dream about my babies, and others do?
What if they write amazing poetry and can see the beautiful side of things, and I can't?
What if I'm still jealous and angry, and they are not?
Haven't I learned by now that we are all different? That you could take someone who lost boy/girl twins at 23.3 weeks, just like me, and we could have TOTALLY different experiences.
But I let it make me feel bad. Or guilty. I'm not feeling enough. Or too much.
This comparing and contrasting is making me a crazy person, I think. I've got to learn to read stories and support people without comparing them to me. How they feel is so totally different. It's about so many different things. I can't let this get me down, or I won't be able to continue blogging. And I rely so much on this support.
What do you think? Do you compare yourself, too?
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