I’ve been going around and around about what to do this blog post on. See, it can’t be just anything. This is my 100th post on this blog. That seems like it should mean something, doesn’t it?
But you know me better than that. I tend to blog about nothing. Like Seinfeld, but with blogging. I talk about whatever is in my head at the moment; writing tips, parenting, books, whatever! So this won’t be much different. I realized I haven’t blogged much about my year off of teaching. Let’s talk about that.
Before school started this year I had been teaching for 15 years without taking a break. Here’s my stats:
- 5 Schools
- 9 Principals
- 7 Different Subjects or Grade Levels
- 5th Grade-8th Grade
- Over 1,000 students
There are a lot of stressful memories in there, like the time I learned the hard way NEVER to conduct parent-teacher conferences in your classroom alone because I got screamed at for about ten minutes before someone called for help. But there are also a lot of great memories, like the eighth grader with multiple referrals who wrote poetry and “accidentally” left me his poetry book to read one day.
Do I miss it? Yeah, sometimes.
This year I’ve been standing outside the stress, blissfully unaware of all the work that is going into the school year around me. I’ve been handling homework with my kids and somehow it’s more relaxing. There were times, in the past, where working on homework with my own kids was completely stressful because I was just DONE helping kids. But this year, no problem. I get the weekly emails from the teachers and the principal, which I read. But I’m outside of it. I’m at the school to pick up my kids every day. Kids I taught in the past wave at me, but I’m removed from it. It’s a whole new experience for me.
I recently attended parent-teacher conferences ONLY as a parent. It was weird. Being on campus and in that environment that I’ve been in many times before, but without the instant stress? Weird. The kid’s conferences went fine. We were in the building for about an hour, that’s it. Conference week used to be my longest week ever, filled with before and after school meetings. It usually included skipping a few prep periods or lunches to squeeze meetings in during the day. This year? None of that stress or crazy schedule.
I recently did a school visit. It was the best of teaching without the worst. I got to visit a classroom, chat with kids, and be friendly. I didn’t have to grade anything, deal with the details of teaching, or call anyone’s parents. I just had a great time. The kids had a great time. I absolutely loved it.
Teaching is a calling, a passion. It’s NOT for the faint of heart. I will (probably) go back to it at some point. I even signed up to substitute teach in my kid’s district. But, for right now, I’m not fully ready yet. I’m still catching my breath.
Thanks for being a part of this crazy journey. Thanks for reading my blog. Thanks for believing in this little dream. You’re amazing. Thanks for knowing me as something other than a teacher, something other than a mother. Thanks for letting me say the sentence that started this entire blog: I’m a writer.
Keep plotting the path to your dreams.