I am experiencing and have experienced a lot of emotions over the past 10 weeks at my school and 1 week of officially having resigned. My current net feeling is relief. No regrets. The only thing I feel guilty about is the lack of regret which I feel.
I did not blog during my period of resigning because I did feel guilty and, to be honest, pretty depressed, ashamed, and fully of self-pity. I worried over my kids and my former coworkers. I worried about my own future and questioned my capabilities.
It's impossible to package and write about my 10-week teaching experience at my school in such a way that explains an inevitable decision to quit. Those ten weeks do not have a single, traceable story line with a conflict, climax, and resolution. Rather:
- I had some students who loved me and said I was their favorite teacher
- I had many days that I called in sick because I either genuinely fell ill due to the stresses of work or I was too stressed/tired to show up to work
- I had many coworkers with whom I developed very close relationships
- There were many, many days that I cried after schools. Some days I cried before school and in between classes. I always stressed out on Sundays. There were also some days when I felt so-so.
- I found a lot of systems that did not work, and a few which I was slowly honing and refining
Instructionally speaking, there's no way that anyone can be "ready" to teach in their first year of teaching. I wasn't. That's fine. But I was also not emotionally and mentally prepared for this particular position at this time in the school's development and at this time in my life. That is the bottom line.
I thought it was part of the job to hyperventilate on Sunday evenings and dread coming to work every day. I started developing bad teaching habits. I was sure that I was going to become a bitter, unmotivated, resentful teacher whose only claim to success is that I didn't quit.
Well, I did quit. I needed to get out of the space. I did not stop to hash out a plan for what comes next. I'm trying to get myself invigorated by the open-endedness of my life right now. I will keep moving and I will resist the urge to define myself by my failures. I need to keep moving in order to continue creating opportunities for myself.
Meanwhile, I'm taking in healthy doses of all things that make me feel good. I've got nothing but time nowadays. I've been reading, watching TV and movies, working out, getting sunlight, cleaning, writing, enjoying the company of good friends, and dreaming up possibilities for my near future. I have to believe that I'm on the right path towards something really good.