Just typing that title brought tears to my eyes. Again. I’ve cried countless times since making this decision. But this is not one of those “I’m leaving teaching because I can’t take the (fill in the blank: testing, lack of respect, lack of resources, etc.).” I’ve made the decision to leave the classroom because an opportunity came along to have an impact on educators on a larger scale.
I’ve known for awhile, and been working towards the reality, that I wanted to work in education leadership. I love teaching, and I love my students, but starting back when I taught in an urban setting, I felt strongly that there were too many kids we weren’t reaching, and I wanted to change that. I wanted the opportunity to make a difference for children beyond the 25 I taught every day.
So of course, being me, I made a plan. I planned that I would teach, and then try to be an assistant principal, and then a principal. And then, way down the line, after I had amassed all that experience, I would find a way to work with teachers. I wanted to work with new and experienced teachers, providing mentoring, professional development, and support to keep teachers engaged, motivated, and continuously growing in their craft. This would be the pinnacle of my career, moving the needle for all students by supporting their teachers to be their best!
And then, because life is life and whatever Supreme Being you believe in thinks my “plans” are ridiculous, an opportunity came up. An opportunity to work with new and experienced teachers, providing mentoring, professional development, and support to keep teachers engaged, motivated, and continuously growing in their craft. I would be crazy to let that go by–so I went for it. And so here I am.
Last week I cleaned out my classroom. I left with only one crate of files, and a few bins of personal things (my scissors, my fancy pens, my dance party CDs). I left the rest for the new teacher; I’d like to think that my work over the last seven years might be useful for a new teacher, might save her a little time and stress as she’s just starting out. I have an office now, in the Central Administration building–a bit far from students, and their teachers. But as my boss pointed out, there are no chains in that office, I can be out in schools and classrooms as often as I like! And this doesn’t mean that I’m done with teaching; there’s no rule that says I can’t go back.
While this is a bittersweet moment, and one I didn’t see coming, I’m trying to learn to let go of the plan–it’s never really worked for me anyways. Wish me luck on this new adventure!