After tomorrow, I bid adieu to my public-schoolteaching career...for the time being.
I graduated from college in 1998 and began my first teaching job in August of 1999. I have taught middle school reading, sophomore literature, freshman English, yearbook, journalism, and more. With the exception of a few months here and there I took off for maternity leave, I have been in public education for eleven years.
And now, I'm getting out.
It's been a sweet ride, really. I shouldn't complain at all. I've made some great friends and had some really great moments. But, well, it's not enough anymore.
So, tomorrow, I will be spending my last day with high school students. It is a bittersweet thing, because really, I enjoy most students. Yeah, I've got some real chowderheads, but there always are anyway. But, I've noticed a disturbing trend - those who don't value their education is on the rise - and we've let them, even enabling it in some ways.
And yeah, for all the technology we're infusing into schools these days, it hasn't improved communication very much. In my experience, teachers are heard less and put upon more. I wish more folks could understand this, but unfortunately, most parents are armchair quarterbacks - very willing to call the shots without really having any real field experience.
And I don't think things are getting better. Teachers are becoming complacently numb, or they leave the profession.
I am very lucky. Financially, I can leave the school district and take a part-time job teaching at the college level; I know many of my colleagues don't have that luxury. Don't think I don't count my blessings every day.
*Sigh* I've known since late fall I wanted to resign my high school job. I sent the actual letter in mid-April. May 26th seemed so, so, so far away, though, at those times. But, it's not. It's tomorrow. My lifepath will take a totally new direction. All I want now is to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead with optimism, hope, and resolve.
Those are things I've lose in the last three months.