I Left Classroom Teaching at Year 17

“Your resignation has been received and approved. Enjoy your spring break!”

It felt very similar to when I received a Citizenship Award in first grade. I remember pushing myself as a young student, doing my very best at my level while also most definitely following the rules. 

One day my teacher presented me with an 8.5 x 11 page that was fresh off the dot matrix printer.

I guess I had done something good. Did I make much of an impact?

Probably not.  

Somehow the signatures on my official resignation document from HR left me with the same feelings and wonderings.

After 17 years, I am leaving the classroom as a public school elementary school teacher. Sticking it out for about 10+ more quickly became a mentally unhealthy option and continued to grow more unsettling as the 2021-2022 school year went on.

Limited alternatives and finding a job that would replace my income at this point has also been a risky and stressful choice. But I did it. My new role in the fall will be Credentialed Teacher for a homeschool charter.

The benefits and perks of this decision far exceed my Citizenship Award from 1986.

I will no longer be responsible for keeping 25+ young children safe, happy, and learning within the four walls of a classroom for the greater part of the day.

Navigating up to the minute decisions that potentially derail a whole day of instruction within the confines of an ever-changing schedule and fragile school climate will no longer be on my to do list.

Pressure from parents in the small town in which I also reside will no longer impact the already blurred lines of my personal life.

My job as executive producer of a live daily show featuring social-emotional learning, an unnerving safety plan that was on a loop in my mind everyday, similar to that of the videos shown before taking flight on an aircraft in case there’s a crash will soon be over.

And academics? Anything that could be effectively “covered” while putting out all the little fires in between was a rare victory.

No more exposure to mixed messages and inconsistent support from administration that has become part of school climate and culture, invisibly swirling around through the halls.

Injustice and questionable policy resonates with and haunts many teachers, along with the mental collective trauma of teaching through a pandemic; preventing Covid, living with it, and fighting to get sick days back because of it.

I have internalized a lot. I had no choice but to take action after realizing my worth in all of this.

In addition to seeking professional help via therapy, which is at the top of my to do list, I’ve cried and hugged colleagues and friends, sharing my truth, and I have taken the time to enjoy learning spaces with my students within our classroom community for the last time.

No regrets. Just realization and an official resignation.

June 2022

4 thoughts on “I Left Classroom Teaching at Year 17

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  1. Congratulations on the direction change in your journey! I too recently took a giant leap and left a “glamorous” job for one frequently overlooked, but equally important to the field, if not more so. Job options for me are limited as well and I took a pretty significant pay cut, but my mental health was compromised. It is such a new and wonderful feeling when the weekend’s almost over and I’m not dreading going back to work. Cheers to you! Excited to hear more about your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! It is quite empowering to see more people prioritizing mental health, and taking a deep dive into what serves them in their workplace or not. Thank you for sharing, and cheers to you as well, and it’s always amazing to let go of the things that we dread in life.

      Like

  2. Congrats! As a former high school teacher, I know this is a weighty decision because you make all those connections with children. Your new job sounds amazing, though ❤

    Like

    1. Thank you, Kathy. Thank you as always for reading, and yes, like many educators who have left recently, many would say the reason was not the children or students, and rather the system. Very happy for the new adventure of my new job! Thank you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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