The Things We Leave Behind

13 minutes.

The approximate time left to tell my former principal that I have successfully found childcare for my girls and can re-interview for my old position to come back as a teacher in the fall. The saga which has been my leave from my teaching position in January and the will- I/won’t- I- be- returning game of tennis is finally coming to the match point.

So who is the winner?

I have been riding this rollercoaster of a decision since last fall, right before Thanksgiving break from school. Needless to say, a dependable sitter was not one of the things I was thankful for Thanksgiving 2015. Of course there are many more important issues in life, but a change from one’s job, especially a job that is a part of who I am, is difficult. Granted, I am fortunate enough that my family will be able to “get by” without me working. I have since been able to explore my love for writing and avenues that I can take from home to make a little money while still spending time with my girls. I have been blessed in more ways than I can even count, and of that I am well aware. So, please, do not think this is a “woah is me” sob story.

But the truth is, as it comes down to these final minutes, I do find myself tearing up. If I am even more honest, had I successfully found someone I was comfortable leaving my children with, the tears would probably be streaming down my face, forming little pools of guilt on my laptop.

I will not be returning to my life of a teacher in the fall. This will be the first fall since 2004 where I do not sharpen a class set of fresh #2’s for the big day, compile my class lists and seating charts, make copies of my Freshmen English packets of super-important Freshmen English information that is critical to hold on to or it will self destruct, and your whole world as a Freshmen English student along with it. I leave behind my classroom. Another will greet students at the door. I leave behind my curriculum that I have lovingly and studiously put together in hopes of opening the eyes of my students, just a little, to a world of which they are almost completely ignorant. We forage the path of World Literature together, learning of cultures and worlds seemingly so ancient and removed from this world we now live in, yet which speak truths that still remain.  I leave behind a group of students who have stuck by me since 2011, forming a committee known as the I Remember Committee, working together to bring speakers to our school each spring to discuss topics like the Holocaust, genocide, human rights and how to make a difference in the world. I leave behind my colleagues and friends.

I leave behind a part of myself.

But,  this fall I will not be leaving behind my girls. We will get to make crafts for  all the fall and winter holidays, decorating our home with our own creations. I will be able to swim in the piles of autumn leaves with them, every day if we want. At 3 and almost-2 years of age, there is so much that each day can hold, if I don’t allow the “need-to’s” to get in the way.

Truth be told, I am a  bit sad that now my time has expired to return to my job this fall, but it is one to which someday I can go back. Perhaps not in the same district, or grade, but in some form “a return” can occur; while this time with my girls is a fleeting moment of which I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy.

So although my neck is exhausted from this Wimbledon series of,  “To Return or Not To Return”- there is no question.

I have won this match.

Discover Challenge:The Things We Leave Behind


12 thoughts on “The Things We Leave Behind

  1. Thanks for sharing! I, too, am a teacher who is feeling like it’s time to move to a new chapter of my life. I am starting to take college courses online, and, though I’m returning to teaching in the fall, I know it will be within the next few years that I will also be saying goodbye to that part of my life and leaving teaching behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading. It is hard. They are interviewing to fill my spot today and I keep tearing up. Seems crazy. But I can’t help it. It’s not just teaching but that job and that curriculum I Built. Means a lot to me.


  2. I found this post so empowering. You left a part of yourself behind to open yourself up to a whole new world, enjoying life with your kids. A decision I am confident you will not regret (ok, maybe at some meltdown or tantrum moments). Kids grow up so fast, cherish every second. 💖 There is so much relief too, in knowing that teaching is something you can come back to, whenever you are ready. Maybe in a year, maybe not for 10 years…but it’s YOUR decision to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You will always be a teacher! Now you are giving all that love and inspiration to your own children, but when they have teachers of their own you can return to class and be an more inspiring teacher. Teaching is like riding a bike, you never forget. I have been trying to leave for nearly 30 years but I keep turning the pedals ! Good luck in your new journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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