It’s been a wild 7 months, after returning to the classroom as an art teacher in an alternative secondary school. It was a difficult decision to leave public school administration, brought on by our move across the state. We moved to live in and renovate a house we already had, so we could save the rent money. I also wanted less state and federal testing in my life. More time to be with family, time to paint, time to read, time to be outside.
One of my co-workers gave me a thank you note last summer after I announced I would not be returning:
“Ms. Weeks, Many years ago I sat with a retiring superintendent and to make small talk I asked him what he would do. I expected fishing, playing golf, raising a garden etc. His answer was I am going back to work in the most enjoyable and rewarding job I ever had. I am going back to a middle school as a math teacher. In your life’s journey you have always stepped up and provided leadership when there was no leadership. You took the hard jobs and told people the direct truth. Some may not have liked you but they needed you and you knew that with out you they could not succeed on their own. You are a Sheep Dog. You have watched the flock and protected it from the wolves sheep cannot see. It gives me hope seeing that good people like yourself can lay down their burden and be kind to themselves after selfless service. Enjoy every moment.”
In returning, and re-learning the classroom routine from within, I have a renewed understanding of the teacher’s side of things here in NC. So far, it has been challenging and mostly joyful and stress-less. My principal came in Thursday morning to let me know I’d been nominated Teacher of the Year for my school! Who’d a thought I’d make TOY my 16th year in the classroom after a 14 year break? 😉