Thanks to those who posted words of encouragement. It meant a lot to me and made me aware of the communitarian possibilities of the blogoshpere (I may be making up words here, but I hope you get what I mean).
My school is filled with beautiful caring people who have helped me get through the last few weeks encouraged me to find solutions. I would have been nice if 'mentoring' had worked and functioned as it is supposed to but we have all learnt things from this experience.
Things I learnt:
Anger is better than misery.
I can use my anger to make things happen.
Crying too frequently is a bad sign, not something normal that happens to everyone. It shouldn't.
My mentor wasn't.
Admin have very little idea of what happens in the rest of the school.
Admin like me and were very upset that I wasn't being supported.
Admin can accept responsibility for getting it wrong.
I am the first really new staff member for a very long time.
I am not responsible for everything.
Communication is sometimes difficult but sooooo important.
Ego is the biggest barrier to admitting I am not coping and need help.
It is professionally responsible to ask for help.
So, to fill in what actually happened... I was struggling and felt like I was failing. Many teachers other than my 'mentor' were picking up the pieces and I started to realise that I wasn't really being mentored at all. After another weekend of tears, I got angry, really angry. On Monday I got even angrier and typed it all out. Wednesday my 'mentor' finally asked how I was going and decided we needed to talk. I wasn't in the mood by then (too little too late) and she couldn't read the signals that I was giving to get the h*ll out of my face. Thankfully, Wednesday is the day the psychologist is in and I took her my 1000 words of anger that I had typed out. She took it to the principal (and AP) for me and they were quite shocked, upset and determined to make it better. I felt better than my pain had been acknowledged and the psychologist told my mentor to give me a bit of space, something I am incredibly grateful for. Admin were away for a conference but scheduled a meeting for Monday which I was very wound up about over the weekend. But I managed it and didn't cry. They were quite emotional too which was kind of nice that they actually care. I asked them for my ideal world – 2 days a week with a team teacher/mentor preferably the temp who has been in the room next door. I wont get that, but will get a couple of different people over my hardest days. It looks like they want me to work with B2 which will upset my mentors apple cart just a wee bit but the AP is willing to take the fall out over that (I don't feel any need for revenge or wish anyone harm, but anything that will upset B1 seems to make everyone else happy... that worries me in it's own way). I told admin the areas I felt I needed more knowledge in and the kinds of support I felt would get me through. They promised me team teaching for next year, but I am not thinking about that yet. They said that they see me as the future of the school! That scared the crap out of me and to cope I cracked a joke and asked when the violin music would start. At least they get it when I'm joking.
Other things I should talk about are:
Work experience/community involvement kids