I hope you had a perfect weekend! And got lots of R&R! We had a great weekend here in the mountains, complete with cooking together, clothes shopping, and getting things packed for our big move! Yall, last weekend was our last official weekend here in West Virginia! Eek!! It is so surreal to think that on Friday, Nick will be coming up here and we will be getting our final few things we need and be bringing our kitty boys back to NC with us! 4 more days yall…4 more days! Eeek!! It seems like such a short time, but it is feeling like an eternity! I am just so ready to go now. Patience? Yeah, that was a virtue that was never given to me, I do not posses it!
So yall, I only have 2 more work days left! I honestly feel like I am already done. I used my personal days so I could get our things together and not feel rushed, so I have not been to work since last Tuesday. I don’t go back until Thursday. I really wish I were already done. I know, I know, it is only 2 more days, and I will be done working, but it is going to be hard. Most people just think I don’t care and blah blah blah, but I do. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to my kids. I have always wanted to teach ever since I could remember. In high school I was in all the teacher clubs and had a class where I went in and helped a kindergarten class. I loved it. My jobs were based around working with kids throughout high school and college. I’ve always wanted to teach and work with kids. I loved teaching Title 1. I loved teaching just reading. That is my strong suit. Working with small groups and getting to really see when a light bulb clicks, it is the best feeling. But you know, I never really was just passionate about it, like I had always been growing up. Even loving teaching reading and working with small groups, I still prayed for the weekend. I lived for the weekend. I just always thought, hey, it will get better. Maybe you just need to get your own classroom. So after 2 years in Title 1, I was given the opportunity to teacher in the regular education classroom. I was thrilled! But that feeling faded quick. It was a 5th grade position, again, I loved working with the kids, but the whole testing mess was just ridiculous. The demands that are placed on these kids, kids, is insane. It stressed me out for them. I knew I was miserable going along with a system that I just didn’t agree with. So then the next year, I was able to move down to 2nd grade. I did my year long student teaching in 2nd grade, and I loved it. I so loved student teaching. It was one of the best years of my life. And yall, the more I have thought about it, the more I know why I loved it so much. I got to teach. Work with the kids, and not have to deal with all the unrealistic expectations, responsibilities, and things thrown on the actual classroom teacher. Even when I was teaching 2nd grade, I was not happy. Again, I loved my kiddos, and teaching, but I could not deal with all the responsibilities and demands. Yall, it sounds silly, “oh, she doesn’t want the responsibility, she’s not mature enough to handle it.” Yeah, I know what some think. But that is not it at all. Gosh, I have always been responsible. A goody goody. I put more pressure on myself to be perfect than anyone–well I can think of one more person who has put so much pressure on me that it almost broke me–but anyways, I know how to be responsible. But what this system expects of us is unrealistic. I learned that the hard way this year. With an incident that happened that had nothing to do with me, but yet I was caught in the middle. And trust me, if I do something wrong, I am the first to admit it because I am scared to death of getting in trouble. Ask anyone who knows me best. But this incident was totally blown out of proportion and handled so horribly. It killed me yall. It killed me spirit. I knew after going through that incident that I couldn’t do this anymore. As much as I love working with the kids, I could not do this to myself anymore. Call me selfish, but goodness, you have to take care of your health. You have to take care of yourself to be your best for others. This incident didn’t making me decide to quit, it was just the last nail in the coffin. Teachers are not taken care of. I have learned in the past few years that this is the case. We are questioned for everything that we do, no one seems to care that we have a 4 year degree in education. Everything we do is wrong. Maybe in some places, teachers are supported and taken care of, but I have not experienced that here. I have never felt more “dead” inside than when I have worked here. I have also come to learn that my anxiety inhibits my ability to teach. As good of a teacher as I am, I worry about everything. I am afraid that anything I do will be wrong and it will turn into a huge ordeal like what happened to me earlier this year. I am ruined. If you have anxiety and are a teacher, God Bless You!! I know your struggles, and it is unreal. I commend you for being able to do it. I honestly do. Again, I always think, maybe the grass is greener in a different area, but then I think, do I really want to continue worrying every single day about what an administrator is going to say?, what a parent is going to say? No. I personally can’t. After what I went through earlier this year, I know me, I know I will forever worry that something like that will happen again. Maybe that is my fault. My own silliness. But I guess you can’t call it silliness when it actually happened. But even if I could set aside my anxiety, do I want to go back and work for this system? No. I think it is fantastic for people who can look past all the issues we are facing and still want to teach. Yall are awesome! But I can’t. At least I am honest. I know it sounds like I am just a quitter, and some would say, well you have to look past it and just know you are there for the kids. I totally get that. I do. But I can’t stand to look into their little faces when I am having to teach them something that they are just not ready to learn. To see the panic in their faces because they are scared they won’t be able to do it. Having to look into their teary eyes because they are having to take a test that even overwhelms a 27 year old woman. Knowing that the system won’t get them the help they need because their “numbers” are too high. I can’t do that. It was not an easy decision to leave teaching. At first I felt like a failure. I felt like I let my parents down. They had just helped me go through 4 years of college to chase this dream that I had since I was a little girl and now I was just giving it away. But after long prayers and long discussions with my loved ones, I knew leaving teaching was the right thing for me personally. I chased a dream, and I did conquer it. I taught for 5 years. I accomplished that dream. I know now that I am ready for a new dream. Something new to chase and accomplish. We weren’t born to live for the weekends. We weren’t born to become complacent and just go through the motions. We weren’t born to go to a job everyday that stresses us out so bad that we feel like we could break any minute. We weren’t born to go to work everyday and feel defeated before the day even begins. We weren’t born to go to work everyday scared to death thinking what will happen today that will make me loose sleep tonight and make me not be able to be present with my family because my mind is preoccupied with the worries. We we born to live and chase our dreams! This isn’t my dream anymore so I know I am ready to chase something else. Do I have all the answers yet? No, I don’t. But I am still young, I have time to do anything I want.
Over the weekend I saw a ton of pictures of new graduates from my alma mater who were graduating from the education program. It was bittersweeet. Their journey is just beginning and mine is coming to an end. I remember that was me, just 5 years ago. So full of hope and promise. I truly wish them all the best. I will forever hold a special place in my heart for teaching and for teachers.
Wow, I feel so much better getting that off my chest! I have wrote so many blog entries that I never published about teaching and why I chose to left, but when I was finished, they felt so angry. It felt good to let them out, because it helped me release some of the anger I was going through, but I never published them because they were just not right. After being so calm from not being at work, and knowing I am almost done, it was a lot easier to write about it clear headed and not out of anger. Because I won’t lie, I have been angry this year. Angry with what happened to me. Angry at the system. But over the coarse of the year, I have been able to slowly release some of that anger. Work through it. Being away from work has definitely helped me let go of the anger. It feels like one of those experiences people always talk about where you forgive, but you will never forget. I think that is where I am with what happened to me.
Some people also say that teaching is a calling. I agree. My whole life I felt called to teach. I truly did. But now is it wrong that I feel like God is calling me to do something else? I don’t think so. I don’t think a lot of people think of it that way based off what I have seen and heard. But the more I went through my journey of what to do with the rest of my life, I knew God was calling me away from this and freeing me up to be called to do something else. I feel called to be someone who is creative. I also feel like one day I could be called to work as a volunteer for the Big Brother/Big Sister programs. I’ve always thought that would be something I would enjoy. It lets me still work with kids, but not have to deal with what a teacher does. I have so many ideas and thoughts of things that I would love to do, and now, in this stage of my life, I feel like I can do them. It is so exciting. Not as scary as it used to be. I used to be terrified of change, but I don’t feel scared about this change at all. That also helps me know this is the right choice.
Yall, if you are still reading, thank you! Thank you for letting me get that off my chest! Thank you for listening to me! I cannot wait to share my new adventures with yall. It is going to be great, I can feel it!
Until next time!