This year, the end of the school year means something different than it typically does to me.
For over a decade now, I’ve finished report cards, said goodbye to a class of kiddos, packed up and cleaned up and moved furniture. But this year, I did all of that for maybe the last time.
It’s a story we’re seeing from thousands of teachers who just can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing. Teachers are stressed out, burned out, broken down and beaten down. We all know something’s gotta give, because it can’t be us anymore.
I’ve been one of those teachers, and I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the past two years. I’ve cried, been awake all night, applied to hundreds of jobs on LinkedIn. Then I found a way to leave the classroom without breaking my own heart. The end of the school year means something different now.
Where I’m Going
I’ve become a Reading Strategist within my district at a different elementary school. I am thrilled for the change! It’s exciting to be using my knowledge, skills, and expertise in a new way. I can guide, mentor and brainstorm with teachers and help them with their craft. I can also help a whole school of students, just one step removed.
I’ve spent several years creating and leading professional development, staff development and educational conference sessions. And I have a passion for languages, reading and literacy (M. Ed in ESOL, M. Ed in Reading and Literacy) so this was a natural progression for me.
The End of the School Year
Closing up my classroom for the last time today was sad yet hopeful. I know a whole new crew will learn and grow in there, just not with me. I know all the materials that I left behind will be in the hands of little learners, just not with me. I know that room will be filled with joy, just not with me.
It was bittersweet to walk out knowing I’ll be welcoming students next school year but not in my own classroom. I’ll get to know 500 kids instead of 30. I won’t panic when the morning bell rings and shove my breakfast in my mouth (okay, I probably will still do this). I won’t have to write 30 names about a hundred times each on every school supply and shelf and coat hook (thank heavens).
This year, the end of the school year means I am going to stretch and grow in a new direction. I’m going to be uncomfortable, but change does that to a person. I’m going to make mistakes, but I’ll learn from them. And I’ll innovate, create and lead with the best of them.
To my soon-to-be coworkers, fellow educators, and fellow school staff, I’m going to be the best version of myself when I join you this fall! I’m going to learn from you as much as you learn from me. This new role will be the change I need to love education some more.