Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why I am So Happy Today:

9 years ago I was looking around, trying to decide on the best scholarship to go for. I thought I wanted to be a teacher...but at 17, I thought all kinds of silly things. So, I went for the Teaching Fellows Scholarship, which is hard to get, and pretty involved once you do get it. That was all well and good, and I felt extra prepared when I graduated and went to find a job. After the first 2 weeks, I thought "Uh Oh". Because the deal with Teaching Fellows is this-you have to teach, in NC, for 4 years, or pay back $26,000. And I knew right off it wasn't really for me.

Teaching is the hardest job I can think of. I have a constant stream of 25 kids in and out my door all day. Unlike a regular classroom teacher, I have to be "On" the whole day. There is no recess. There is no "Kids, sit down and read a book." And then there is this: You have to fight the kids all day. So, you think the parents would be glad you're helping them out, and would support you, right? Um. No. You have to fight the parents too. So, you think, your administration will be there for you, right? Um. No. With the exception of the school I'm at now, I don't think the administration has ever been on my side. So, you have to fight the administration. So, you would think that perhaps the people at the county office would be on your side. Um. No. You have to fight them too. So, it seems the only friend to the teacher is another teacher. You'd think that. But again, Um. No. Teachers really have a tendency to bicker amongst themselves, and generally make life a little more difficult. (Again, this is better at my current school.) So, you have to fight the other teacher. So, that leaves you, just you, on a team by yourself, standing in front of 25 kids, trying to keep them controlled enough to trick them into learning something. And then, the president comes along, sticks his nose in, and everything just gets worse.

It is exhausting. By the end of the day, I have no patience left, and no energy left. This isn't fair to my husband, or me. And I've really got a gift with little kids. Don't get me wrong. They love me, and I love them. But 8 hour day after 8 hour day, year after year...I just can't do it.

I have just today finished my fourth year. I am immensely proud of myself. I do not feel like a failure for giving this up. I feel like a trooper for making it as long as I promised I would.

To continue teaching would be a really passive path to take. I am not happy. Typically, when you aren't happy, the passive path isn't the one you should be on. So, I'm being active, even though it is a little scary. I am looking at life and deciding what I want out of it.

If I don't quit now, after this 4 year mark, I'm pretty sure I'd never quit. I'd just go along, teaching teaching teaching, being too scared to quit, and being unhappy.

So, school system: Good bye. You've done me good, and you've done me dirty. I can't work inside of the box that you assigned me. It makes me feel like a smaller person. So, I'm glad we're going our separate ways.

So, today is the day to celebrate. Reminds me of a song from my childhood church..."This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."


Lovey said...

Thank you. I've been trying to decide whether I should quit my job (same as Katie, Daniel, and Allison) and pursue nursing or not. I've made the decision to finally do it. I'll start prereqs this fall. But I'm insanely nervous about the whole thing. What will I do without this steady salary? Am I too old to start over? I can't kill someone with a bad map!! What if I'm not smart enough for nursing? The anxiety is almost as bad as my current job. :)
It gives me hope and reassurance that someone else is going through this at the same time I am. Thru the last 6 months, I've gotten the same fortune in my fortune cookies with little variation. I finally taped it to my computer monitor to remind me. "Never fear! The end of something marks the start of something new."
Remember that. You can't have a new beginning until you have an end. :)

Allison said...

Well said, Lovey. Go for it.

Carmen: We definitely need to celebrate tonight somehow.

Jenelle said...

lovey, it's never too late! I'm 47 years old and a junior in college. Go for it!!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I wish you the best of luck in what ever you decide to's takes courage, I have yet to muster myself.