I started this school year excited for the new year. This was going to be my third year, my tenure year, my most successful year. Instead, I don’t even make it a week into the new year before I am ready to call it quits. I have been struggling with my reasons for why I want to quit since the day I said “I’m done!” I didn’t want to be honest with myself. I was blaming others for leading me to this decision. I was blaming my supervisor who gave me a bad observation. I blamed the curriculum. I blamed the unstable outlook of our county’s public school system. Nowhere in my thinking did I blame myself.
If I am going to be totally honest with myself, I blame me for the decision to quit. I blame myself for a bad school year. I blame my desires and goals in life. To be honest, I’m not the best teacher this year. I deserve a bad observation. Why? Because my heart isn’t in it anymore.
I LOVE teaching. My passion in life is helping others learn about the world, about life, and how to be successful. I enjoy helping students develop a passion for education. I desire the feeling of success when my students WANT to learn and LOVE to learn. But, I cannot get that feeling in the public school system any more. My students are not getting the best of me. My heart is at home with my daughter.
I stand up in front of my classroom every day feeling sorry for those students. Public education is all about data and state testing. Students are struggling. When we kid talk students the question by administrators and special educators is “What’s the data look like?”
Who cares what the data looks like? I’m asking myself what does this child need? What does this child desire? What interests does this child have? Children learn best in an environment that encourages learning, inquiry, and risk taking without fear of failure. Public school does not provide that to students any more. I cannot, in good conscience, be a part of that any more. I cannot stand by and watch students come into my classroom and leave without any REAL learning. This doesn’t even address those students who are behind.
I was once told in an observation “Too bad. Move on.” after I explained that the student could not read the required texts. I am suppose to still “expose” the student to text WAY above their ability to prepare them for state testing. Exposing them is not going to “prepare them for state testing.” All it is going to do is set them up for failure. They will not be willing to take risks without fear of failure if I continue to do this.
My dream has always been to home school my children. I have always wanted to be the stay at home mom who cooked, cleaned, and home schooled her children. I envision myself waking up every day to a smiling child eager to start the day’s lesson. I envision myself teaching my children to love life, love education, and to be the best that they can possibly be. Not only that, I envision myself as a healthy mom who encourages her family to eat healthy and exercise every day (something I don’t do right now). A wife who takes care of her husband and helps encourage him to reach his dreams and goals. I can see who I want to be. I can envision it. I just need to make those dreams a reality!
I need to be honest with myself. I need to stop pretending. I need to take steps in the right direction. I cannot sit in my classroom any more and pretend everything is alright. That is what landed me here! I have a lot to share. I want to encourage others to seek a better life. I want to encourage others to home school and provide the best education possible for their child. Now, this does not mean that I look down on those who send their kids to public school. Great public schools and teachers do still exists. Most teachers try to work around the curriculum and demands to provide their students with the best that they can possible give. It just isn’t something I can do right now. Home schooling is the best decision for my family. It may not be for yours.
As I end tonight, I’m going to go to bed with Steve Harvey’s words in my head: My dreams CAN become my reality. Yours can too!