Thursday, August 2, 2018

That Time I Almost Quit Teaching

Let me preface by saying my opinions do not reflect the administration or teachers that I work with. In fact,  I've been very blessed to work with such wonderful teachers and an amazing & supportive administration! My thoughts below just represent my general life as a stressed-out teacher. :)

Teaching is hard. Like CRAZY HARD and can be super stressful.

To the point where I almost threw in the towel and quit teaching altogether. I hate even saying that out loud. But the stress, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, the feeling that I HAVE to work 24/7 or else my students will fail, the anxiety, the pressure, the ridiculous expectations, the immense workload, the lack of respect for teachers, not being treated like humans but rather robots, not feeling appreciated, the heavy emphasis on scores for state tests as opposed to real world preparation, the piling of new was all literally eating me alive.

I felt like I couldn't have a life. My husband and my two little girls weren't getting the mom and wife they deserved...instead, my 24 students at school were getting an energetic, patient, compassionate, fun, loving teacher. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and had used up all of my "niceness" at school. On top of that, I would become more stressed knowing that after I'd put my girls to bed, I still had to plan for the next day.

It was a vicious cycle.

But the thing was..

I LOVED teaching. I really did.

I still do.

Even though I'm going on my 8th year of teaching, I still have such an immense passion for this crazy, roller-coaster-of-a-ride profession.  Looking back now I realize I wasn't quite done yet. There were still so many things I wanted to many things I wanted to implement in the many things I wanted to do for many lives I still need to impact. But I have Hope King to thank for that because she ignited my passion for teaching again. Not only does she make teaching and learning fun for kids and teachers, but she pushes for ENGAGEMENT and RIGOR and truly embodies these principals. Ever since incorporating her strategies, I've fallen in love with teaching again! So if you don't know her, she's definitely a must-follow on Instagram. You could even check out her site here.

Sadly, too many kids these days hate school, which is terrible because I have so many wonderful memories of school as a kid. It is these positive experiences that ignited my desire to read everything and learn everything. That's exactly what I want for my students! #LifeLongLearner

I want my students to WANT to come to school and I want them to have so many AMAZING memories of school. I want them to race off the bus in the morning so freaking excited to come into the classroom -- ready for the day's activities.

That is ONE of the reasons why I wasn't ready to leave the classroom and become another statistic of teachers who leave the profession.

It wasn't until I met Anna (she's the blogger and TPT'er for Simply Skilled in Second) that teaching became doable for me. She is seriously my role model. LIT-ER-ALLY, I want to be her. She is so smart, creative, and knowledgeable about the best educational practices; and creates the most engaging yet RIGOROUS activities and lessons for her students. She has this comprehensive monthly teacher membership site that literally changed my life. EVERYTHING is planned and emphasizes Guided Reading. Honestly, this gave me my life back.

I cannot even tell you how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders or how much my anxiety lessened because of her help. In fact, I never thought that would actually happen! For the first time in my career, I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like I can be better mom and wife who isn't tied down to hours of lesson planning, Instagram and Pinterest scrolling. I finally have my weekends back. Hallelujah! If you want to learn more about this monthly membership, you can watch a short video here. If you decide to enroll in the membership, keep in mind enrollment ENDS at midnight on August 7th! You can enroll here {affiliate link}.

But seriously, whether you need a teacher membership site like Simply Skilled Teaching, Teachers Pay Teachers, or lots of wine ;) to help you reduce the constant overwhelmed feeling and anxiousness or reduce the amount of hours spent on lesson planning, just know that you CAN do hard things.

Yes, this profession is crazy hard work {only teachers can understand this}, but know that what we do is so freaking important. We ARE important. We are bad ass teachers who are making a difference and changing lives in this amazing country. Don't stop. You got this. You are capable of so many AMAZING things.

This job is flipping hard but GOODNESS GRACIOUS we have the ability to change hundreds of let's do just that. These kids need us.

So, until some things work themselves out in education and working conditions improve, hang in there and keeping being the bad ass teacher that you are.

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