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.