Sleepless Nights of a Teacher

On sleepless nights like these I stay awake thinking about that next observation when  I am going to be evaluated. I flip through to the episode of the parent of a child who just went on a trip to the Bahamas, skipped a week of school with their student, and is now asking me tons of questions as to why their child is failing. I press next, and then I’m thinking about those kids who try to be intentionally malicious that try to disrupt the peace of the classroom environment, worried about those not doing their work, and about their future. Then rewind, next, play, pause. Then finally, STOP!!!

On sleepless nights like these I wonder why my yoga earlier didn’t do the trick or my meditation or my prayer. I question if my jobs really all worth it.

On sleepless nights like these the ceaseless disturbance of a monkey mind keeps me awake, where the monkey in the mind swings from one thought to another in an endless circle. The endless swinging leads to frustration until finally it drives me to get out bed, have my ceremony of chamomile tea, and then head to the computer to write.

I never used to have sleepless nights until I started this job.

Now here I am. Awake during the sleepless night writing so that I can share that my life is not perfect, and I dwell too much on the negative snap shots of life on a sleepless night such as this. There are so many other nice snap shots that happen during the day that do not enter my mind…

Like a kiss before work, my Starbucks coffee warm in my hands in the cold morning, the student who smiles so genuinely everyday who is one of the sweetest, kindest, and hardworking students I’ve ever met, the  relief all the grading is done and done early, a vent with a coworker knowing your not alone, coming up with a really good hook for students to see as a model, or that lesson that you knew was good, and cooking a delicious meal at home.

It’s the simple moments and the majority of them good, however on sleepless nights my life is full of the negative replayed on loop over and over until I’ve had enough. I think and feel this is no bueno. Life keeps saying to me don’t worry everything will work out like it always does. I say to myself, “you are only in control of yourself and your response my friend.” I am reminded as I write that this is true. I sip my chamomile tea cozy on the couch despite the worries, and I am thankful.

The gratitude begins to fill me up. Gratitude for the sleepless night to get me out of bed to write. Gratitude for the lessons of life that are only making me stronger, and a more resilient human being. Gratitude for the fact that things could be a lot lot worse and they aren’t.

I know that what I’m worried about is so small yet is magnified in my mind, incomparable to the more important things in life. I will not always be able to please everyone or be liked or be around little or big human beings who are genuinely self aware of themselves, how they affect others, and are respectful to everyone. Life is imperfect. People are imperfect. This blog post is imperfect. I am imperfect.

On sleepless nights I wonder if this was meant to happen for a reason greater than my need to write and feel better.

Through writing this I begin to trust my inner most self, not the tape recorder causing the sleepless night, but I listen to as Oprah says (in a deep voice) “the deep voice within.” I realize I am not the thoughts I think, and so then freeing myself from old worn out thought patterns not serving me, I can begin anew with the reality that the present moment is all we really have. Right now is the most important place to be, and be with myself whole and complete as I am.

Goodnight sweet peas.




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