The End of a Chapter
Today was my LAST (for the foreseeable future) Last Day of School. I said goodbye to my last group of students who have (hopefully) grown and matured and learned under my wing. After a decade of educating, I am officially no longer able to say that I am a teacher. When asked, “What do you do?” I will instead have to respond with, “Nothing.”
As I stepped out of a classroom for the last time today, I can’t help but think about my 10 years in education:
*3 groups of 1st graders, 3 groups of 4th graders, and 4 groups of 3rd graders
*2 school districts
*Huskies and Panthers
*public and private education
*2 supportive administrators
*full time and part time teaching
*wonderful co-workers, mentors, and friends
*countless opportunities to inspire, instill, impart, and impact
I also remember my kids. I still remember every single one of their names. I remember some of the funny things they said. I remember some of the stories they wrote. I remember their likes and interests. Some of them are now juniors in high school, but they will forever be ingrained in my mind as toothless 6 and 7 year olds or 4th graders having knock-down, drag-out battles of 4 square.
After 10 years of teaching, I know, deep down, that I was meant to be a teacher. I love teaching. I love instilling a life-long love of learning into students. I love helping them find books that allow them to say, “Yes, I AM a reader!” I love being a stepping stone along their journey to discover what they will become. I love designing and planning units of study. I love seeing that light come on when they finally “get it.” I love teaching them that they can do hard things. I love setting high expectations and helping them reach those heights. I love seeing their perspectives. I love celebrating their successes. I love helping them learn from their mistakes.
Teaching is a calling, and I know that I have been called. I also know that my convictions and passions are pulling me in another direction for the time being. With much prayer and priority setting (and pros and cons lists), I have decided to step away from the classroom. I am going to stay at home with my babies. Eliza has one more year until Kindergarten, Hattie has two more years until Kindergarten, and I’ve already missed out on 13 months of Judah’s life. When looking at those facts, a tough decision was made just a little bit easier. I don’t want to miss any more precious moments with my children. Time is a thief and it continues to fly by without hesitation.
We are selling our house, and (praise God) it is already under contract. We are also (as of today!) under contract for a new house. It is a little older, a little cheaper, a little closer to church, and needs a little updating. Lord willing, we are set to close on both houses on June 27. Once those things are in place, we will be debt free (except our new mortgage), and I will be able to freely pursue this new calling without adding financial stress to our family. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a full-time mom for the next few years (which we all know is not really “Nothing.”)
I am excited to do homeschool preschool next year with all 3 littles in my “class.” I am looking forward to transferring my passion for education to my own children as we learn and grow together. I’m also excited to turn a new house into a home for our family of five. We’re ready for our own version of “fixer upper” in our new space. Just call us Chip & Jo, everyone! (Just kidding. Don’t actually call us that…that would be weird.) Watch the blog for future updates about these exciting new adventures!
So after 10 years...it’s goodbye for now, classroom education. By God’s grace, I’ll see you again someday. I believe that book is not over yet. Rather, it is just the end of a chapter.