Classroom Witchcraft

IMG_0618It’s the start of a new school year and I’m back in my classroom getting my space ready for students. I’m also bracing myself emotionally. Last year was really, really hard, and I had a rough summer punctuated by some astoundingly alienating professional development seminars that made me seriously question whether I wouldn’t be better off looking for another job. Teachers are just so…extroverted. My coworkers are constantly talking about their “passion for teaching” and putting their “heart and soul” into their work. They spend their paychecks on classroom decorations and school supplies, and every one of them seems perfectly happy to sacrifice evenings and weekends to lesson planning, researching new strategies, and socializing at student events.

I am not that teacher. I’m a good ten years older than most of my coworkers, and I’ve worked other jobs in my life. I care about my students, but I’m not particularly sentimental on the whole. I don’t believe that careers are inherently supposed to have anything to do with callings, and I know that being a classroom teacher isn’t mine anyway (being a priestess is, but that doesn’t come with healthcare). I’m very introverted and guard my personal time fiercely. I don’t use platitudes, play trust games, or abuse exclamation points in my emails.

This makes my job challenging, as you can imagine. I’m good with students, my kids perform well, and I don’t mind the long schedule most of the time. I just feel like I’m constantly being asked to pretend to be someone I’m not.

But this is a new year, and I’ve decided to try to magic my way into not dying on the job. I’m going to woo my way into the skin of someone who Truly Cares, and I’m brainstorming ways to do it. It’s been funny, as I’ve been setting up my room I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Coyote and Fox, two spirits I’ve spent a fair bit of time with in the last two years or so. I’ve been hoarding white paper (a valuable commodity in the school system), making off with unguarded extra supplies, hiding food around my room, snagging copies of keys to rooms I’m not technically supposed to have, and anything else I can think to do to make this year more comfortable. I’m thinking about erecting a discrete shrine to Coyote and Fox in my classroom. (I’m just really into natural history. Yeah.)

There are also old standbys, like spelling the jewelry I wear, incorporating a glamour into my makeup routine (“I give soooo many fucks about today’s meetings. I am burning with passion about thinking maps. I totally understand all the acronyms. I loooove collecting inspiring quotes to hang.”), and placing magical items around the classroom (sigils behind posters sounds awesome). I’m also going to just generally try to be better about self-care (eating like a human being and not a starving coyote, running regularly, not waiting all day to pee, getting a massage so I don’t go legitimately insane because of touch deprivation). I also started a new bullet journal just for teaching. I’ve been bullet journaling for a year, but I’ve staunchly not incorporated my job stuff out of weirdly misplaced spite. I’m going to use teacher washi tape and everything in order to generate enthusiasm. Go me.

What am I missing? Are any of you witches classroom teachers? Send help.

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6 thoughts on “Classroom Witchcraft

  1. readingsekhmet

    Yes! I’m a classroom teacher. I just did some flower 🌺 magic on my bulletin board and 🌈 magic on my classroom door, courtesy of Pinterest. I’m trying the gushing care thing while remaining firm. I am more of the advocate teacher that defends my students and pushes them to be better people in this world we live in. I’m the social justice teacher type. I’m not cutsy and I teach my middle schoolers like they are young adults until they display immaturity. I’m trying to soften and revise my teachings to add the element of creativity back in after so much faculty changes. I work mostly work with elementary teachers with a middle level add-on. I’m a secondary teacher with the middle level add-on cert.

    Reply
    1. readingsekhmet

      Oh! Hang projects and group numbers from the ceiling. Make your classroom 3-D with the things hanging hitting specific portal spots in the room. I have party spirals hanging down and Christmas lights for Yule hanging up. I also quiet the intensity of my room with hanging pendant lamps from IKEA with flowers. It softens the environment and makes it welcoming.

      Reply
  2. Chris Mann

    As with spiritual matters, if you’re not getting it like other people are, there’s something wrong with you.

    Reply
  3. Fny

    All my respect to you teachers of the world. I managed the job for about a month myself, then the threat of violence and proximity to gang related crime wore me down. >.>

    Reply
  4. shekinah

    Hi Thorn. (please excuse spelling/grammer mistakes- I am German) I think it is a shame that you want to change yourself. I have watched your videos for years and read your blogs and think that you are an amazing person. If you are only half as amazing in real life as you are online you still have a LOT to offer both your students and your coworkers. And maybe if you are just yourself others find the courage to admit that they maybe also not quite as passionate as they want to appear. Also my idea was for you to play on the age difference to make your different behaviour more socially acceptable. I do wish you all the best and a much happier next school year:-)

    Reply
  5. shekinah

    Also I wanted to add that the behaviours you describe for the other teachers are really unhealthe for a lot people (spending private money and time on work) and probably contribute to the high rates of burn out in teachers. Please do not feel bad for having healthy boundaries! LOL

    Reply

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