Some people will probably call me crazy. Some will probably say I’m making a mistake. Others will support me, even though they don’t agree with my decision. And yet, others, though they may be few, will understand that this terrifyingly exhilarating choice is one that will alter my entire existence…and that it’s not a bad thing.
I have decided to stop teaching.
At least for now. One day I may decide to enter the classroom again, daily grapple with the attitudes of teenagers, and influence the lives of the youth. But for now, I am called elsewhere.
I am called to be a mom. So I guess I am not necessarily not a teacher anymore. Essentially, I will always be a teacher – whether it is in a classroom full of high school students or, most importantly, my own children. I will always be teaching.
But it’s still terrifying. Leaving everything I have studied to be. Everything that I have practiced to become better at. Knowing that I have spent copious years and money preparing for this career that I am now putting on the back burner. It does sound a little crazy. And I love, love, love my students. That will be what I miss most. I will miss seeing those students who have actually taught me a thing or two. Those who impacted my life by saying hi in the hallway, visiting me when they’ve already graduated, and telling me that I was a teacher who made a difference in their lives.
However, I won’t miss the unending amount of stress. I won’t miss crying everyday at the beginning of every year because I felt like I was going to lose it and wouldn’t be able to effectively impart wisdom in the lives of my students. I won’t miss spending the entire weekend grading hundreds of essays. (That is not an exaggeration.) I won’t miss constantly thinking about what lesson I would be teaching or how I would administer the correct discipline in the classroom. I won’t miss thinking about teaching even while I sleep. I won’t miss getting to work before everyone else or being the last car in the parking lot at the end of the day.
I can understand why approximately 50% of new teachers leave the profession within five years.
This would have been my fifth year.
If I desire to be a teacher in the future, I actually need to return to the classroom within the next two years so that I can renew my credential. But I’m honestly quite frustrated with that process. You see, I already went to college and completed the teaching program. Now, in order to renew my credential so that I can continue to teach, I need to pay thousands of dollars to take an induction program (which is essentially the same as the credential program). I completely understand the necessity of professional development and the need for teachers to know the best practices and content for the classroom. I agree that we should have to continue to take classes. But at our expense? When new teachers already make a ridiculously low salary? It’s just discouraging.
But that’s not why I am switching directions. Though some of it may play a role, I suppose. I am at a new season in my life. One that God has called me to be in. One that God has challenged me to let go of all the comfort of familiarity. I have never been a mom. It’s new. It’s difficult. It’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I actually feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I was made to be a mom.
I took a leave-of-absence so that I could raise my baby. After much prayer, conversation, and godly counsel, I know that I am supposed to continue to do that…for my child and future children. I understand that I can raise my children and teach at the same time. (I have incredible respect for moms that do! I honestly don’t know how you do it.) But for now, I know I need to take a leap of faith.
It’s intimidating. But I’m confident that God is with me, and He will honor my decision to walk by faith and not by sight. He will provide. Whatever path He has for me, that is the one I want. The one that will require much faith. Because without faith, it is impossible to please God.