Today was my last day teaching. To be fair, I didn't do much teaching today. I played poker, sang, and had discussions with my students. So I guess, technically, yesterday was my last day of teaching. Two years ago, I graduated with my B.A. in English and a minor in Creative Writing. I lined up a teaching job one day before the school year started.
I've wanted to teach since I was a kid. My best friend's mom is an art teacher at our local community college. I used to joke that I wanted her life when I grew up. I found a job at a private school where I would be teaching 7-12 grade English. I thought this would be a good way to get experience in teaching while I figured out what I wanted to get my graduate degree in. Once I had a graduate degree, I could teach at the college level. I had a plan.
Turns out my plan was a great one, but not for me. To teach is to perform. You constantly have to be on. And your job is never done. Once you are finished in the classroom, you have planning, contacting parents, grading, and more planning. I also realized how much it sucks sharing something you love and find important with others when they don't care. It's exhausting. Teachers are incredible, and I'm not...at least not in a teacherly way.
All that being said, it was hard to say goodbye today. I've met some amazing kids--not many, but a few. These kids are smart and passionate. They are kind and funny. And I'm glad they were a part of my life. If there could be a guarantee that I would have at least one kid like this in every class, I would consider remaining a teacher. I'd probably decide against it, but it would make me re-consider at least for a little while.
Life is funny. I'm glad I'm finished teaching, but I will miss my kids. I'm excited for summer break, but I'm worried about the fact that I'm now unemployed. I know I don't want to teach, but I don't have any ideas for what I do want to do. I'm happy, but I'm a little melancholy. As one of my favorite students would say, "I've got all kinds of feels."