I took another subbing gig with my 4th graders this week.
This time, instead of teaching math and science (Which was brutal, by the way because I am neither mathematically nor scientifically-minded, and trying to teach some of the math concepts to these kids was… well… awkwaaaaard. Good thing I could distract them with my brilliant humor, and encourage them to “work together”. That always comes in handy…) I get to teach language arts, health, and social studies, which I’m much more suited to.
But as soon as I took the gig, I started freaking out because in a couple of these classroom scenarios I may have to do some co-teaching.
There are two major problems with this:
- I hate when other teachers can watch me teach. It’s horrifying. I have this irrational fear that any senior teacher can at any moment yank my license from me for no other reason than the fact that the lesson didn’t “go so well”. I feel like I’m still student teaching, trying to earn approval from my cooperating teacher and snag that “A” I’m so desperate for.
- The other teacher in the 4th grade… is a guy.
That second point, shouldn’t even be an issue. And yet it is. Because somewhere in these 30 years of existence I have developed this aversion to working with members of the opposite sex.
Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, I am totally horrified that I just admitted that.
This aversion is completely ridiculous because I adore men and I think they’re funny and brilliant and awesome and I totally appreciate them…
It’s just that…
I get all…
There. I said it. Scared. I get scared and nervous and freaked out…
AND I DON’T KNOW WHY.
I never used to be like this.
In high school, college and grad school the majority of my classmates and professors were men… and they loved me. Most of my bosses have been men… and they loved me.
Also, just to clarify, I’m not trying to be all…
“Oh… people love me… I’m so awesome…” I just mean that typically I had a great working relationship and rapport with the guys I worked with.
But somewhere, between then and now, things have changed… and not for the better.
I could blame it on the divorce and the fact that my whole life and everything I knew to be true about it were ripped out from under me in such a malicious fashion that perhaps my aversion to working with men was understandable, but this started before the divorce. Even when I was married, I started to avoid interactions with men, and totally freak out and clamp up anytime I was around them. I mean… what the hell?!
What I do know is this: While I was married, my husband liked to argue… about everything. I don’t know why, and I don’t know that he did it on purpose. However, I do know that no matter what came out of my mouth it would be contradicted. If I said it was cold outside, he’d say it wasn’t. If I laughed about the absurdity of a situation, he’d tell me it wasn’t that unusual and probably wasn’t something I should laugh about. If I told him how I felt about an issue as a woman, he’d counter it with how other women felt about the issue, thus nullifying my opinion. It was exhausting. It got to the point that I was censoring everything that came out of my mouth because I no longer trusted my own thoughts and opinions. If my own thoughts and opinions were constantly being contradicted, I was obviously wrong… right?
I also know that my husband loooooooved to be the center of attention. And he loved to hear himself talk. And he loved being adored and flattered. So, as was my natural tendency as an introvert, I let him be the center of attention and do all the talking while I just sat back and only spoke when spoken to. I didn’t realize this was happening at the time, but looking back, I may as well have put on a burqa and called it a day, because I was slowly allowing myself and my personality to be diminished because of my husband’s natural proclivities.
Annie, you were such a dumbass… (The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?)
I don’t know. Could being in that kind of relationship have caused my current aversion to working with males? I don’t know. I’m just asking questions here, peeps. Be cool. I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, honestly. Because I don’t like it. I hate it. And quite frankly, it’s just stupid. I know it’s unreasonable and silly, but it happens without me realizing it. I just get all… weird.
Oh, good gawd… Am I irretrievably screwed up? Am I like… a girl with baggage?
(Insert full body shiver here.)
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