I Took the Road Less Traveled Part 1

This post is the first part of my journey to becoming a flight attendant…how and why I quit teaching . If interested, please read on……

     If you know me, you know that I accidentally fell into teaching early grades after college.  I did not study education in college and I had no interest in being a teacher but it happened and it was good. I found myself developing the determination to get better at teaching, to be the best I could be, to be recognized, and to change outcomes for kids in low-income neighborhoods. So, I set out to do that and somehow found myself working in my classroom 6 – 7 days a week, sometimes 12, 14, 16 hours a day.  My perfectionism,  passion, determination turned into obsession and complete insanity. I found myself never feeling “done” at school. I found myself always striving for better student outcomes on weekly assessments, better /more efficient workstations for students to use each day, better systems and procedures for students. There is nothing wrong with being a great educator and there’s nothing wrong with caring and investing yourself. However, my personal investment became all of my waking hours, anxiety, and mental energy.

 

Graduation

Meanwhile, I had moved across the country from Washington, DC to Houston, TX to work for a charter school organization that I had admired for years and grew to believe could launch my career in a new direction.  As my only school year working at this organization continued, I completely lost myself, everything I loved, everything I believed in, I had completely sacrificed. I had pressure from admin to have great scores, pressure from parents to be the perfect caregiver, and pressure from myself to be the perfect everything.

Spring came and I got to the point where I would daydream during school days about being free and being just about anywhere else. I would dream about all the things I would rather be doing and missed having time for. So many things happened that I can’t share here but a day came when I had my first panic attack and that was the moment that changed things for me. The stakes became higher because I was now sacrificing my mental health, stability, and peace for an  organization of which I had no real ownership.

Late spring came and I had begun seeing a therapist for anxiety that was completely out of control. I was also completely mentally checked out of teaching and although all of my students had made their learning goals for the year and 90 percent of my parents were satisfied at the end of the year, I thought that it wasn’t fair to families that I wasn’t at my best anymore. Summer vacation was approaching and as promising as that seemed, I knew that 2 months wouldn’t fix me. Two months wouldn’t prepare me for another year of this, another year of my life investing everything I have into something that requires sacrificing everything I love. I loved my kids to death and I was a good teacher but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that we should never continue to do things we are good at if we are so moved to do something else. I took the road less traveled and I resigned from my teaching position. No, I don’t regret it and yes I feel freaking amazing. This is where my journey has begun but certainly not where it ends…

 

 

 

Classroom

I still love all my kiddos =)

 

 

 

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