There are many words that, when strung together, can impress upon the listener a great meaning. There are also few words that, when joined with just one more, can impart an even greater meaning. Two words. I’ve got two words for you. (I’m sure I could judge your character by which two words first came to mind!!) These two words on my mind right now… I quit.
That’s right- I quit. I quit my job.
I quit my job… and I don’t have a plan. I quit just because it felt right.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I quit for a great many reasons. It’s difficult to explain. It’s like divorcing someone you love with all your heart. It’s like throwing your favorite cd out the car window. It’s like erasing Mona Lisa’s face. My quitting teaching is like all of those things because, as you’ll recall, I love teaching… but I hate my job. (I won’t say it all again… just read my blog I Hate My Job) And for many reasons, I quit.
First reason- I quit because I want to be a mama for a while. I mean, I HAVE been a mama for a while, but I bet if I eliminated the one thing that requires the most time, I could be a whole lot better at being mama. I have an incredibly short time until my 2-year-old starts school, so I’m going to enjoy that time with him. And I am going to attend every little thing that my 5-year-old will have happen during his kindergarten year. I’ve missed far too many of them in Pre-K, and enough is enough. I’m ready to be Mama, so I quit.
Second reason- I work really hard. I work really hard because I want to invest everything I can into the moments I have with my students. They are the future of this world. They are impressionable. They are my calling. I love them. I pour my heart and soul into teaching them the concepts of the curriculum while manifesting the energy to teach them Life’s important lessons… discipline, responsibility, accountability, progression, sustainability, and logic. However, I feel at times like a one-woman army. What happens when they leave me? What expectations do they face when they leave my classroom? Is there cohesiveness to those teachings? What happens next? I refuse to lower my standards to accommodate those who just don’t like that I have them. I cannot, in good conscience, do less as a teacher. My students need the best to be their best. They don’t deserve it, but God knows they need it from me. But at times, the futility of that hard work exasperates me, so I quit.
Third reason, fourth reason, fifth reason…. they can all be summed up in the words of a friend of mine. He said it this way, “When you’re a good teacher, you invest so much of yourself that when you get home, your family just gets the left overs.” Well, my darling husband can only live on left overs so long, unless it’s Schlotzky’s. I’m ready for my family to have a home-cooked, healthy meals (metaphorically and physically), so I quit.
And to clarify for any nay-sayers who might make any assumptions (because we all know how to spell assume…), I work in a great school. The team of teachers with whom I have been blessed to teach are doing a fabulous job. This year, our team is strong. We work well together, and we CARE about our kids. We know what is expected of us from those in leadership, we are accountable to each other, and we pull up those who need a little pat on the back. We communicate and work together. Despite any differences we may have with one another, we put them aside because we all have focus… and that focus comes in the form of the hundreds of kids we get to love and teach every day. And working with prepubescent junior high kids ain’t easy! (Don’t judge me…. it MUST be said that way with emphasis!)
And so, I quit. (For now, at least.)
PS- Assume… to make an ASS out of U and ME, for those who’ve never heard. You’re welcome.