Friday, June 22, 2012

The End

Yesterday was the last day of school.

Really, the LAST day of school.

After 8 years of being a teacher, I am walking away from my job and walking away from Orange County.  I am...I was a 4th - 8th grade teacher, with almost 500 students, at two different schools daily.  I loved teaching but I think I may have hated being a teacher (much like I love learning but hate being a student).  While working with kids and teaching them brings me happiness, there were so many aspects of being a teacher that did not involve teaching.

And I hated them all.

Needing a rolly cart every day, mean parents, bitter other teachers, irrational administrators (not anymore, but in the past), having to eat lunch in my car, entitlement, staff meetings, grading, waking up at 5:30 every morning, getting home at 5:30 every evening, having to censor myself, getting 50 emails a day, having to teach manners, excuses, teacher clothes, adults who don't act like role models but instead behave like spoiled children, having to provide pencils for a class of 100 and watching them purposely break the pencils and announce that it didn't matter because I had to give them a pencil no matter what... (yes, that happened)...

But the teaching I loved.  The teaching I will miss.

I gave up my own life for 8 years, dedicating myself and all my time to being a better teacher.  And now I am done.  I leave without anger, but without much sadness, either.  It's time to move on.

I watched my beloved 8th graders graduate yesterday, and felt like I was graduating with them.  They couldn't stay there forever; they needed to move on and continue to on to meet what life holds for them.  So do I.

This next week I will be cleaning up my classroom and saying good bye to my old life  Former students have been coming back to say good bye, which touches my heart.  I feel an overwhelming feeling of relief, knowing that my efforts have been appreciated and valued by so many.  While I know there was no way to reach every child (I had over 3000 in 8 years), I certainly tried.  It's reassuring to know that so many noticed.

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