I've spent the day doing my favorite favorite things. I finished my first book of the summer. Yoga. Thai food (Chicken Mango Curry, my absolute favorite!). Library. Coffee shop. Iced coffee and computer time.
I've got a mildly busy summer ahead of me, but I'm also glad for these couple weeks of almost no scheduled activities. (A couple weeks is the perfect number, because if I go longer than a couple weeks with nothing to do, things get weird.)
At the end of June, I'll be going on a roadtrip with Superman to visit friends in Minnesota. Then, we are going to Chicago for my birthday. Perks of an Army Wife. :) He's gigging there for the 4th of July, and I'll be tagging along. Woot! I love Chicago! Then I'm playing a musical at Topeka Civic Theatre (The Little Mermaid!) for the month of July and part of August. (I love musicals, and its been way too long since I was apart of one!!!) Somewhere in there, I hope to get offered the part-time pet-sitting job I applied for, and will be doing training for that.
And then it will be time for school! I'm excited about the piano accompanist gig. I know its somewhat of an odd career change, but I'm thrilled.
I don't have that impending-doom feeling that I always get when I think about the summer ending. I'm not spending my time prepping curriculum like I've done the past several years on my summer afternoons. Instead I'm exclusively reading books and drinking coffee.
Every once in awhile I think about how I'VE QUIT TEACHING, and it makes me feel weird. This has been my identity for almost a decade. A couple years ago, a friend of mine also took that leap, and I felt horrified inside, thinking "I could never do that! Its too much apart of who I am. There's nothing else I care about."
It still makes me feel weird. But I know this is right. I scroll through education articles in my newsfeed, and read and hear friends talking about teacher-stuff, and I'm just left with a shell of disgust for the profession. I just can't even.
I think about all the complex issues that went into my decision, and I realize the most influential one is contributed to "a bad class". Every teacher has had them. But mine Broke Me. They started out as a great class. They were amazing and I was so excited about their future. They were quick, funny, kind, curious, skilled, coachable, resilient, and then somehow over the course of 2 years, under my supposedly-exemplary teaching, they became the most difficult human beings I have ever had to be in charge of. And because they broke me, it was time for me to go. I have lost all desire to ever be in charge of another human being ever again. I will never forget that feeling of animosity that permeated my classroom everyday for a year due to a horribly bad combination of personalities, and resentment directed at me for not tolerating it. As if the rest of the challenges weren't enough to stress a person out. I just had enough. Broken.
Maybe the broken teacher inside of me will heal someday and I'll go back to it. Or maybe I won't. Because this feeling I have sitting here, and I'm NOT experiencing soul-crushing dread at the thought of starting a new school year, is extremely convincing.