I love teaching. I’m so glad it’s my profession. Although I work crazy hours and spend lots of time and money on my classes and students, I don’t think I’d want another job. I love this stuff. I love students. I love talking to students and working with them. And I get paid to make silly putty and blow things up.
And a huge thanks to the MTBoS, especially Justin Aion and Mr. Dardy and Triangleman and Casey Rutherford and approx_normal and mathtans and jreulbach, none of whom I’ve met in person, but feel some sort of connection to, or they’ve helped out in some way or offered a good snarky comment somewhere. They’ve all posted something in a blog or a good, thoughtful Twitter thread (or 2 or 3 or 73) that I’ve really appreciated through this year.
But this year has been hard on me.
There’s a bunch of reasons, but it comes down to working and the process of re-licensing and general maintenance of files and curricula and labs, (oh yeah, and seeing my family occasionally), plus an (increasingly) large dose of administrative-related frustration, took a big mental toll this year. And, for some reason, it feels especially thankless this year. And I know that many (all?) teachers also deal with this, and can work through it. But right now, I can’t.
Maybe I just need to do more knitting (hear that, carpal tunnel?):
And through all of this work, I also applied for new jobs. And got a few interviews, but nothing panned out. Did my resume not make it through the stack? Do I interview really poorly? Maybe I can find something over the summer. Does my level of education make me too expensive? Do I not have the right experience? Am I a terrible teacher but think I’m doing okay??
I have no intention of saying goodbye to teaching forever. But I am feeling a need for a hiatus. And at the same time, I feel like I’m giving up, deserting my post. I mean, I have an obligation to my students, don’t I?
But is there more obligation to my students or to myself?
I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband (probably my biggest fan… *sniff*!), who’s talking me through this. Maybe I could take a year off of actual teaching, in order to beef up my credentials, and/or relearn calculus, and/or change my curricula (which I want to do anyway), and/or go to conferences and trainings. And then, I have to hope that I can get back into teaching next year.
I haven’t made a final decision on staying or going (still 1.5 weeks of school left). But I’m not sure I can stay anymore. I’m feeling awfully negative about my current situation, and that’s not fair to my next-year’s students.
I feel stuck, and I don’t know how to get out, other than to just exit.