I'm starting to finally realize what it is about my job that keeps me from being an enthusiastic and motivated member of my profession. I don't like people. Actually, I don't like having to constantly be forced to interact with people, especially those I wouldn't normally care about. Unfortunately, to do my job I have to be constantly alert and engaged or I end up with a kid whose back is covered in scratches because another kid thought it would be funny to spend half a block stabbing him in the back with his pencil. That's a true example, by the way, and that happened on a day when I was fully rested and feeling fine. On days like today, when I'm tired and unmotivated, I'd be happy to tuck myself away into my cubicle and tap away at my work or stare blankly during meetings that ate away at my day. Instead, I have to be alert for kids who are stumped but won't ask for help, kids who are about to start trouble, take roll, and explain a question to another kid all while be hit with demands to leave the room for various reasons.
I'm not a multitasker. I never have been. I've never wanted to be. I'm more of a serial unitasker. I like focus completely on a single thing and then move on to the next topic. I know good teachers manage their classrooms to minimize that constant redirection of focus, but I've never mastered that art, and I'm not sure I would minimize distractions enough for my comfort level even if I were among the best. This is probably why I never have that sense of frustration when I'm working with students one-on-one that I do when I'm in the classroom. That student becomes my focus and I'm not being interrupted for irrelevant questions or requests to go to the bathroom while I'm working with them. I think that if I could overcome that sense of irritation at having to change focus before I'm ready, I would be much happier in the classroom. As it is, this understanding can only help me make future career choices.