In my former life I was a literacy specialist. I got a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and did the basis of my research on how to teach second language kids in English. In true Cristie fashion I created my own degree and made it harder than it needed to be. Then I put my skills into practice working in a school that was heavily populated by second language kids. I worked with students and with teachers because I happened to get this job at the exact moment the county revamped the entire literacy curriculum. It was baptism by fire.
It seemed like important work and I enjoyed the challenge for a while. I thought I’d move on and up-administration or central office curriculum. I had big goals.
Then, I got tired of all the non-teaching bits of my job so I left that position to go back to a classroom and teach 8th graders how to read and write. I adored that job. Adored. I only left because we moved. Maybe I have such fond memories because I only did it for a year but no matter why, I have fond memories. I still miss those kids and they are sophomores in college. I should be over them by now.
It would stand to reason then that I would be anxious to get back into schools.
Here’s the problem. When I think about going back to that job or one like it, I have absolutely no desire. None. I’ve even applied for that type of job recently and I spend most days convincing myself I’d like it again. I’m just not sure that’s true.
I barely even teach my own kids how to read. They all can and do well (even The Baby which is kinda freaky) but I can take no credit. I just don’t feel passionate about it. Oh, I feel passionate about screaming and yelling about education and school nutrition and how we need to fix our systems soon. I would even enter the fight to fix our systems. I just don’t want to do it from a classroom.
So now what? Sure, there were brief forays into sales, fashion, interior design and advertising but for the most part, since I was old enough to have a job, I have taught. What happens when a teacher no longer wants to teach? What happens when all her credentials (and the debt accrued to get them) are in the one field she has no desire to enter? Then what? How do you overcome (and forgive yourself for) all the work and time and money spent on a career that seemingly has no future? How and where do you move on?
Maybe I’ll just join the circus. At least I can keep the blog.
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