Friday, April 12, 2013

Big changes for this girl

My dad was a teacher at a community college for just shy of thirty years. He married a coworker, an English professor. When I was a teenager I'd see her grading papers for her classes and think she was absolutely insane. I distinctly remember saying (on more than one occasion) that I'd NEVER even consider being a teacher. And certainly not an English teacher.

Fast forward to college where I decided that teaching wouldn't be so bad, but there was no reason anyone in their right mind would choose to teach high school students. Right out of college I got hired at a high school that had a separate campus for ninth graders. That seemed doable since ninth graders couldn't be that much different from the eighth graders I'd just student taught. 

I fell in love with it. The kids were interesting and challenging.

Two years later,  I moved to Virginia and got hired at a 9-12th grade high school and was assigned both ninth and 12th grade classes. I was 24 years old and terrified.

They weren't so scary. They were kind of fun, receptive, smart, funny, (and yes, frustrating, lazy, snarky and cocky). I fell even more in love with my job. I knew I had found my calling and was at home in the classroom.  I spent the next ten years there. And at the risk of sounding arrogant, I think I was pretty good at it. 

While I'm not noble by any stretch of the imagination, I feel that teaching is an absolutely noble calling. I proudly tell people I teach. I take my job very seriously and work very, very hard to be the very best teacher I can be. I have been guilty of  putting my job before my personal life more than once.

Today did something I never thought I would do. I officially and respectfully submitted my resignation. Looking back at this post, I probably already knew that today was coming, but the part of me that lives to teach has been in denial.

Last week human resources gave me the daunting task of either resigning or coming back to work "at the first available vacant position for which I am qualified." That language scared me. There are 11 high schools in my school system, 15 middle schools and an alternative school.  I knew that my school didn't have a vacant position. I decided to resign. (The school really is that great.) And then Wednesday I got an email saying that my school had a part time position waiting for me if I wanted it.

It was, for all intents and purposes, exactly what I wanted.

Except it wasn't.

And I decided to check the "I do not wish to return to a position at the end of my leave" box.

That makes it sound like it was really easy. It wasn't. I hemmed and hawed and soul-searched until the last possible moment.

The end result: I'm no longer a teacher. (OK, that's not true. I have a class I need to teach on Monday, so I should probably not be quite so melodramatic.) I'm no longer a high school teacher. Whoa. Short of a few community college classes here and there, my entire professional career has been in high schools. And now it isn't.

While I'm a little bit dazed, I'm also completely confident that I have done what is right for our family.  Today Little Man giggled as I chased him, he shoved food into his mouth with his meaty little hands and he stood on wobbly legs and moved his hips like Elvis. I got to see all of that. I'll get to watch him grow and change next year, too.

We're excited.

What changes are happening in your world?


  1. LIttle Man will grow up and be Thankful for what you did, Very nice reading.. . I decided to not seek employment once I was laid off after budget cuts and take my Sporting good store on full time, so I too could be home with my family. Life is Good. Michael Martin

    1. Thanks for reading, Mike. Being home is pretty awesome! I commend you for doing it too. Perry just loves your store. He really likes advertising for it here in VA with his hats and such!!


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