I announced the reason for the blog's slow down back at the very beginning of August, complete with the mention of a hope things would return to normal once I settled into teaching, but that never happened. As it turns out, my perfectionistic tendencies didn't mesh well with trying to teach three classes and keep other "balls" in the air, juggling work, writing, and running a small business the way I've done in the past with more typical administrative positions. To put more of a point to it, I didn't mesh well with classroom teaching, so I ended up leaving my position at Foster Academy at the end of October.
The way my brain works, my memory in particular, is excellent for working one-on-one with students as a tutor, mentor, or a homeschooling mom. However, without a carefully written and laid out script to follow each class, it makes me the kind of teacher kids hate in a classroom setting. You know, one of those teachers whose train of thought jumps the track every few minutes, so they're impossible to follow?
Yeah, I was that teacher the first week or so until I learned to start writing myself scripts to follow in the form of slides presentations. You see, I remember things by association. One fact links to another and another and another because of similarities between them.
This is great because it helps figuring out different ways to explain a concept a student is having difficulty understanding, but it also means I start out talking about one thing and end up talking about something else a couple moments later without realizing I didn't verbalize that mental transition. Having the scripts prevented this, but each one took anywhere from two to five hours to build and only one or two fifty minute class periods to teach.
With the addition of aiding other teachers as needed, administrative duties, grading, and all the other assorted duties taken on by all teachers at such a small school, this translated to a 50-60 hour workweek, every week. In trying to make things work, I began shedding any and all "extras."
First I stopped writing anything outside of lessons, consoling myself with the thought I'd have all four major courses built after four years and could pick it back up after that time. Yet, a persistent sadness set in and refused to leave.
Human interaction outside C. L., Nichole, Brooke, and those at work was the next to go. Aside from going to church on Sundays and then practically running out the door and back home to get back to work as soon as possible, we didn't leave the house except to go to work, running any and all errands on the way home or doing without. Then I decided keeping up with the responsibilities behind running Contented Comfort, the small bath and body business I built over the past six years, was impossible while teaching, so I announced its closure. I went from being down to falling into a deep depression after that. A few weeks later, I had a complete nervous breakdown, and C. L. and I made the decision it was time to leave Foster Academy.
It's been a little over two weeks since then. C. L., the girls, and I all took a week to process everything that'd happened and for us adults to look for other means of employment. Brooke was baptized; we adopted a dog from a local shelter, and C. L. was hired on at a new business all in the first week! I've started the process of reviving Contented Comfort, which is still possible because it wasn't fully sold out and shut down before then, and something prompted me to renew the business license "just in case."
We resumed homeschooling the girls last Monday, and I returned to writing this past Wednesday.
I know the tickers haven't budged, but that's because I've decided to work several weeks ahead for the blog here and the one over at Contented Comfort, so even if things get bonkers posts will still go up on time. Then I'll get back to work drafting Icarus in December.
All in all, it's been an eventful autumn so far this year. But it's one we learned from, and we can use that new knowledge to improve as individuals and a family moving forward.
So, what has been going on with all of you these past few months?
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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