Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of Not School

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I had a bad stomach ache last night and this morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off and couldn't fall back asleep to save my life. Pretty common for the first day of school. Teaching-related sleep anxiety has been a staple of my August-June life for the past six years.

But today was different. It was indeed the first day of school in my district, but it was the first day that I really didn't go back to teaching. Yes, I worked all summer in my new role, and I even did it half time (sort of) last year, so it's not like it's completely new. But today was the first day that I really officially did not go back as a teacher.

Lots of people have been asking me how it feels. I thought today would be weird and milestone-ish. But it turned out to be just another day at the office. Except for the weird sleep last night (maybe I just woke up early because my roommates were getting up at a work hour for the first time today?), nothing felt different. On Saturday when I helped a friend set up her classroom, it didn't really feel weird that I wasn't setting up my own. The only time I have felt weird was about a month ago when I was at Target and I started to look at the school supplies and then realized I didn't have to. It wasn't necessarily happy and it wasn't necessarily sad. It was just a small jolt out of a usual August routine.

Will it hit me at some point? Probably. It's hard to imagine that quitting the career I intended to do for a lifetime wouldn't emotionally screw with me in some way or another. Is that a good thing? Probably. I still unquestionably believe that teachers are the most important part of our educational system and that everyone else in education should just be working on how to support them. So I definitely see myself as some level of failure for giving up on doing that most important job. I just hope that as I continue in a different direction that I do everything I can to take care of the teachers who take care of our kids. Maybe if I can make some teacher's life easier and her job more exciting, she won't burn out like I did.