Teaching is a profession that I dedicated many long days, months, and years to. I have two education degrees. I have taught for nine years in first and second grade. How could I possibly leave a profession that I love? Well, I finally realized that family comes first.
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Will you allow me to be very personal in this post?
As a teacher, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted my students to score well on DIBELS, pass all of their tests, and read above their level among other things. Besides doing the hard work in the classroom with my students, I often worked before school and after school to ensure that I was giving my kids (yes, all of my students are my kids) everything that I thought they needed.
I have spent time in the afternoons grading papers, creating additional activities for lessons…you know, things that most teachers probably do. But while I did those things, I was neglecting my children and my husband. I’m not ashamed to admit that I did that, but I hate that I did that.
My dad, who does not work in the field of education and makes a hefty salary chilling in a boat most days once asked me, “Don’t you have someone in the classroom to help you?”
My dad has awesome jokes.
I think that if teachers had a little bit more planning time and someone to help them do those tasks that take up a lot of time, but are so important (think, making copies), then we could go home and be there for ourselves (hello!) and for our families.
This past school year really took a toll on my personal life. I will be honest, I started to lose my spark for teaching. Not because I didn’t love it, but because the realm of education is changing so much that I can no longer just teach. I have to wear every other hat in addition to my teacher hat.
The biggest toll came from my daughter’s diagnosis of autism. I was devastated initially, then I wiped my tears, looked to God and said “let’s get my baby what she needs.” She is now in speech and OT therapy. She’ll soon start ABA therapy as well. While the school year progressed and she started her therapy sessions, I could not be there, because the sessions took place during the day. This hurt me to my core! I should be there with my baby, but I could not because I have to work for a living.
Over a few months and after lots and lots of prayer, I decided that I need a break from teaching. Not only for my mental well-being but for the sake of my family. I was sad to leave my amazing school and a profession that I love, but when God is ready for me to go back, He’ll send me.
Do I have any plans to return to teaching? Absolutely! I would love to teach again in the future. Several of my seasoned co-workers encouraged me by telling me of their stories of taking a break from teaching until their kids were older, and then coming back to the classroom.
I have been blessed to have a few side hustles that can now be my full-time hustles, but this will be a trying time for my family financially. I trust my decision and I trust God. I have this blog and another, Tame the House. I will still be creating K-3 resources for teachers in my Teachers Pay Teacher store. I also have a videography business, Keen Apple Productions.
So even though I am taking a hiatus from teaching, I will still be connected to all things teaching through my blog and other ventures. Keep on visiting this blog and interacting with me on social media, and I hope to return to the classroom soon.