Friday, June 17, 2016


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. 

1 comment:

  1. While my situation is quite different, my year was very tumultuous as well and I came to the following conclusion that perhaps you can relate to: Sometimes we must destroy ourselves to allow ourselves to grow into who we are. This is incredibly difficult and emotional to do, but absolutely necessary to discard the parts of us we are clinging to that are no longer serving us. I also believe, sometimes we just let go of who we have become, or who others perceive us to be, so that we may realize who we have always been.

    That said, if ultimately you are happy the rest is not relevant. Should you come back to teaching it will be because it will make you happy and if not, it will be because your happiness is elsewhere. And what matters is that you have found it, not what career facilitates it. Especially having been a teacher, you have seen so many statements about the importance of the profession, the type of person teachers are, etc. All of the positives which while true, are not the total truth.

    All of those things about teaching that seem awkward to see now...they are still true of you. Profession alone does not make a difference in the lives of others--it is the PERSON in the profession that does it. Life is a tapestry and we are each a thread, impacted and impacting those around us. The part we play is no less or more than the other threads save for our impact on those around us. And if we are unhappy, that impact will weaken.

    Finding happiness and freedom, will strengthen your impact...and that impact is no less than it would have been had you remained a teacher; rather it is perhaps stronger because you did not. Whatever the future holds for you, you are stronger, happier, and more sure of who you are. A profession is just one path along this is not the journey itself. ;)

    I say this because I do not see you as broken and as much as I cannot imagine how this weighed on you throughout the year, you should not feel any sense of defeat or weakness; deciding to make that change for yourself took courage--that is what I see. Courage a lot of people don't have, and that can be an inspiration for others: not to leave a profession, but to find their own happiness. That is perhaps the greatest lesson you could teach. *hugs*