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    CJADERUN   24,656
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When I Quit Teaching

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fifty-two weeks ago today I did my daily routine.

I woke up at 5:00. Pulled myself out of bed. Turned on my computer and opened up my webcomics. I pulled out a Yoplait yogurt from the fridge while I read them. I only ate a spoonful or two.

I hadn't eaten breakfast in months. I felt too sick, too sad in the morning to eat.

I thought about how for each day of Thanksgiving break I cried, dreading the return to school.

It had to stop. I knew that I was through with teaching, but one more year to give it a shot turned into one last year turned into "just finish the semester" turned into...what can I do?

I got into the shower and I start crying. I cried on the way to work. I cried as I climbed up the stairs to my classroom. Just like I had been for months.

I just tried to deal through my first block class. During second block planning, I ate chocolate candies and drank hot chocolate. I somehow survived block three, lunch I had a lunchable. I endured block four, the class that does everything in its power to make my life hell.

This is the class that has stolen projects from other students to turn in, stolen each other's iPods, and lit a fire in my class. They constantly trying to stage a coup in my classroom.

You know, just your typical teenagers.

I was in school until 5 or so, grading, emailing, writing detentions and referrals.

I drove to my psychiatrist's home--my second visit.

I told her how I'd been feeling. Not much better than the last time. I talked about how I cried all throughout Thanksgiving break. My heart was constantly palpitating, racing and skipping beats. I felt sick, and I had never been more miserable.

And that's when we decided: I will quit.

That's it. It's over. I'm going to simply quit. Put in two weeks and end it.

I went home and ate ramen and half a bag of potato chips. A standard dinner for me by this point.

The next day my Assistant Principal was very understanding.

The next two weeks were hellish. I felt like December 9, my last day, would never come.

But it did. It did, and I cried. It was over.

I packed up my things and moved back into my parents' house. They were very gentle with me. I still cried because my dream of being a teacher, of changing lives was long over. But I didn't cry as much.

Slowly, I started pulling my life back together. I applied to as many jobs as possible. I broke up with my at the time boyfriend who didn't value me. I started working at a tutoring center because I felt so lost with no work to do. I took up running using C25K. I started dating someone I had liked for a while, even though I knew it was crazy to start dating so soon.

I started taking an active approach to my health, taking classes at the gym, incorporating ST. I started counting calories.

Even before I got my current FT job, I knew: my overall disposition experienced a complete 180. I was happy. Every day. I rarely cried as opposed to crying multiple times a day. I felt good physically, emotionally, and mentally. My life was not only becoming mine to control again, it was now full of joy, of purpose, of positivity.

It was so hard to get to this point, but here I am, without a regret of those touch choices I made. It was difficult, but it was so worth it.

So many of us are struggling with various things--weight, work, relationships. And we usually know what the right choice is, but it's hard. It's hard to challenge ourselves, and it's hard to let things go, comforting things that may ultimately destroy us.

But you and I? We're worth it. We are worth being happy and healthy.

And don't let anyone else tell you otherwise--not even yourself.

So go ahead--make those tough choices. Do the hard thing. I won't say it won't suck.

But it is so, so worth it.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALICIALYNNE 11/28/2012 9:41AM

    Great blog!

I was in a similar work situation. Panic attacks multiple times a week, resenting my family and everyone else around me, just plain miserable. It's astounding how a bad work life can seep into your entire life, and just make everything seem horrible.

So glad you faced the challenge, and got out of a poisonous experience. Obviously, you are much better off!

Thanks for sharing!

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DALID414 11/26/2012 10:35PM

    Thanks for sharing yourself. I'm sure many of us relate.
So glad you're happy now.

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OPTIMIST1948 11/26/2012 8:38PM

    I would love to be able to FIND a job (other than min wage retail) -- still your words and message have value. Great job finding the strenght to move away from something that was obviously not a good position for you.

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LESLIELENORE 11/26/2012 8:28PM

    I think you are one of my heroes!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 11/26/2012 7:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLORNH 11/26/2012 7:25PM

    Awesome! I quit a job that had me crying and dreading work and it was one of the best decisions of my life! Sounds like a year of fantastic changes for you.

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GINGERHAWK 11/26/2012 2:26PM

    You're amazing! The fact that you were able to take your life by the horns (so to speak) and turn around the things that were troubling you the most even though you didn't know what would happen is pretty darn awesome. Good for you!

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HHB4181 11/26/2012 1:39PM

    Wow, good for you!

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DIANER2014 11/26/2012 1:20PM

    Beautiful blog! Glad you're happy now! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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LYNSEY723 11/26/2012 1:04PM

    Wonderful blog! I went through a very dark time myself, but it lead me to where I am today - which is feeling GREAT! We all have times that we need to push through to get to the light on the other side.

Thank you for sharing!

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MSCONFIDENT1 11/26/2012 12:50PM

    I am so glad you shared this. You are a very strong person!

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KJDOESLIFE 11/26/2012 12:15PM

    Thank you for sharing! :)

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AMALIA8 11/26/2012 12:08PM

    You are an amazing person! I was moved by what you wrote. I wanted to be a teacher until I took an Non-BED course and realized it wasn't for me. I have taught Dance and that was fun and working 1 on 1 with Autistic children was amazing. However, it is hard. I am personally right now working at a Call Center. I'm good at my job but I keep having anxiety issues and panic attacks when I go to work. I know it's time for me to leave but I'm finding it really hard to work up the courage/energy to find another job. I am seeing a career counsellor and we've found some for me to apply to, but I just won't get off my butt and finish my resume to do it. This blog inspired me to want to do it. So, thank you so much! You are definitely still teaching an impacting people's lives. Keep up the fabulous work!

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MARITIMER3 11/26/2012 11:47AM

    Hi Jade - you are still changing lives - don't ever forget it. Teaching was not the right choice for you, and you were wise enough to understand that and to get out. My husband taught for 36 years. He was enthusiastic at first... did all kinds of extra-curricular activities... gradually the students, the parents and the administration got to him, and by the time he retired, he couldn't wait to leave. I wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, but am so glad that I wasn't able to do it... I think the pressure on teachers is unbearable. They are poorly paid for what they do, they are not respected, they sometimes have to fear for their lives.

I'm so glad that you are happy now! Enjoy the holiday season,
Love,
Gail emoticon

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FUNFROG79 11/26/2012 11:46AM

    Beautiful and inspiring, that is what you are, my friend!

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VONBLACKBIRD 11/26/2012 11:35AM

    Change is always good..sounds like you did the right thing...so proud of you.

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TORTISE110 11/26/2012 11:31AM

    Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to know when to say "when." I'm so glad you found the courage to do what you knew you must!

emoticon

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ADARKARA 11/26/2012 11:14AM

    I briefly entertained becoming a high school math teacher. Stories like this make me so glad I didn't! Glad you're much happier where you are today. =)

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FRENCHIFAL 11/26/2012 11:04AM

    I know exactly how you feel! Four and a half years ago, I was eating and drinking way too much, in a relationship with a guy who SOOOO did not deserve me, and fantasizing about getting in a car accident on the way to my job with a marketing firm every single morning. My family thought I was crazy (at first) to give up a good-paying salaried job with great benefits to go into the non-profit world...but money can't buy happiness, and at the end of the day you're better off without a career that makes you that miserable!

Good for you!! I'm so glad you're in a better place right now!!

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SGCSVCEEC 11/26/2012 11:02AM

    Excellent perspective! Thanks.
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