Monthly Archives: January 2013

Week 17- Check This Box If…


Well.  I have gone and done it.  I’ve made a momentous decision.  I checked the dreaded box.

In schools, about this time every year, school administrators send out a missive to each employee asking them what their plans are for the next school year.  It looks a lot like the notes we passed around in middle school.  Do you like me?  Check Box A for Yes, Check Box B for No.  And it usually strikes me as humorous because I generally don’t have to think about it.  As I’ve said before, I’ve been blessed by the communities I’ve worked in.  So, I check Box A and move on.  This time, I checked the “not coming back box.”

Now, I’ve done this before.  As you have also noticed, I’ve worked in a lot of schools, which means I’m not unfamiliar with the dreaded box.  But usually that is because I was moving.  And here I get to blame my husband, a lot.  I left my first school because he was offered a job in Japan.  (I left my second school because it was more prison than school, and my dad needed my help. That school is not on the list of schools I love.  It is, however, on the list of things that continue to give me nightmares.)  I left my official second school because we wanted to leave the high cost of California and be closer to our families.  I left my third school because again my husband was offered a job, this time in Seattle, and I missed him.  I had stayed on at my third school for two years, seeing him only at weekends.  (Yes.  I am insane.)

But this fourth time is different.  This time, it is all on me.  I can’t blame hubby.  (Well, I can.  And probably will at some point.  Nobody said I had to be completely rational here.)  I have to take full responsibility for giving up an income and a community and seeing the friends I’ve made because I want to continue my education.

We talk a lot about wanting our students to become “lifelong learners”.  But what about ourselves?  I am fortunate to have the support of my husband who is willing to foot the cost of me not working so that I can get a doctorate degree in education.  Perhaps out of guilt, for dragging me away from my other schools.  Nonetheless, I would feel entirely hypocritical if I didn’t take my fortunes up (sorry, folks, it’s Shakespeare Time in this here corral) and quit my job.  I want to teach teachers.

Do I feel guilty?  Yes.  Do I feel scared?  Yes.  I look at all the materials I’ve amassed on Ancient Civilizations, on Shakespeare, on Iambic Pentameter, on writing literacy.  I counted up today over 300 books that I use in my literature class.  Most of which I’ve read, either because a student suggested it, or for a student who wanted to write a paper on it.  And I realize that I may never do that again after June.  My life.

I identify totally as being a teacher.  I live it.  I breathe it.  It’s all I talk about.  Sometimes to the extent that my husband looks at me and says, “Love, you need to spend time with adults.”  I brag about my students to the checkout guy at the grocery store.  I lecture people on the merits of 7th graders.  I am the champion of the future generation.

And soon, I am going to say good-bye to it.

Change is the nature of the universe.  I create, and take responsibility for, my own destiny.

Well, let it be!