Four years ago I quit teaching. I spent two years away, feeling strange every time the school year started without me. Strange, but not bad. Then, life happened, and I dove back in. A new school – very different than the last. For a year I was really happy. It was hard, but it was great. That’s what I thought, but it didn’t take more than a few weeks into the second year before the uneasiness set it. Five weeks in and I was desperately job searching. In retrospect, it seems so odd. I was so sure that first year back that I would stay, and then SO sure within weeks of starting the next year that I would never return.
So I’m leaving teaching. Again. It’s hard to give up something you’ve always wanted. I think I’m a pretty decent teacher. I LOVE the kids. I love the interactions with them and the relationships I build with them. I love watching all those light bulb moments. I love seeing them learn to think in new ways. I do not love the entitled parents. I do not love the way administration bows down to those entitled parents. I do not love the way society demands accountability and ties my evaluation to that via testing, and then opts out their child from that testing and completely screws me over. I do not like the direction education is going.
I have enough time for a whole new career, so I’m going to take a huge leap of faith and try something new. Again.
This is a terrifying thing.
The other day one of our students had stayed after school to work on an assignment with me. He was waiting for his mom to pick him up and wandered into the room next door, which is another one of his teachers’. He was surprised to see her still there and asked,
“Mrs Teacher! Why are you still here?”
“I live here. My desk folds out into a bed.”
“You mean, like a futon?”
It’s crazy that we are in the FOURTH week of school, and no joke, not only do I not know all of my student’s names, but today I looked at a girl sitting in my class and literally thought, “Hm, I have never seen that child before.”
Turns out that she had colored her hair last night, so apparently I did know her, but still…
Oh man. I somehow forgot how ridiculously EXHAUSTING being a teacher is. I’m a bit out of practice with it all, so I’m fumbling around with things that I had really gotten in a groove with prior to my little break. For example, I keep forgetting that you have to train middle school kids. I find myself backpedaling a little every day because I didn’t actually teach them the procedure for doing things like…writing their homework in their planners, putting their notes in the notes section of their binder (as opposed to say, the section they have for math assessments…), or just that they have to take the pass every time they leave the room!
That said, things are off to a good start. I am remembering how much I love this age group because they are so silly and goofy and spazzy and are generally still interested in learning new things.
I already have a few that have wormed their way into my heart, and no big surprise, they tend to be the naughty little boys that drive most everyone else up the wall. I just find them so hysterical, especially because the smaller the kid, the more of a pain in the butt they can be. Remember Twitch? Goofball? Speedy G (The first post in all these links is the same, just scroll down for the rest)? If you are new here, check them out, they are the ones I’ll remember forever…
3.5 days. I don’t know how I’m going to make it!
The end of the year is always such total chaos, and this year seems more so. Why? Well, for starters, there has been some rearranging and so we are all packing up like crazy trying to get new rooms, new assignments, new routines sorted out before next year. Most people stopped teaching this week, some stopped last week, and a few stopped as soon as grades were turned in, which this year was the Tuesday after Memorial Day. That was a nearly a month ago for those of you who keep track of such things. The kids have realized that we aren’t doing anything and are taking full advantage. Top that off with boiling hot rooms and you have cranky teachers, and students-gone-wild.
3.5 more days. *sigh*