You know the feeling you get when school is right around the corner? No, not the dreadful groaning of ‘no more summer.’ The other one. The feeling of excitement as you get your classroom decorated, put names on student desks, go to back to school lunches with your fellow teachers, see your newly painted classroom, organize your supply closet and stock up on new school supplies?
Yeah, me either.
You see, this is the first year out of my twenty of teaching that I DO NOT have that feeling. There’s nothing there. Nada. Zilch. Complete indifference.
So I know.
It’s time to trade in my holiday themed shirts for gardening shirts.
It’s time to trade in my red grading pen for the black felt tip I love to use when I write.
It’s time to trade in my classroom door key for the keys to the cities I want to visit.
It’s simply time.
Nothing set off this lack of emotion. No harsh words, no stressful environments, no irritating team teachers (there’s always that one…), no change in curriculum that I didn’t agree with.
It’s just simply time that I move on. And I want to do so on a high note. I want to be able to walk out of my classroom without feeling bitter, burned out or upset. I want to be able to let someone else take my place that has that excitement, that burn for students that love of new crayon smell. That’s what my kids deserve. That’s what school is about for all of us: being excited.
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I don’t want to allow my indifference to teaching be a hindrance to my kiddos who need something that I just can’t give. I don’t want my feelings of indifference to teaching be a hindrance to my fellow teachers who so depended on my enthusiasm and leadership. I don’t want to allow my indifference to teaching be a hindrance to ME. I want to keep all of those amazing memories and feelings of the past twenty years close to my heart. None of that is the right thing to do, and I ALWAYS teach others to do the right thing.
I’ve thought a lot about the lack of actual feeling I have about this topic and I’ve come to realize that it is okay to feel this way, but not okay to keep pushing myself to do something that I no longer have a desire to do, just because it is what I have done for the past two decades. I can’t allow the fear of the unknown drive me to do something that I know in my heart is no longer what I need to be doing. I’ve always been driven by purpose, and I have ALWAYS felt that my purpose for being on God’s green earth was to teach. But I now feel that I have served my purpose, quite well, and it is time to move on to whatever my next purpose is.
Is it scary? Hell yes.
But it’s time.