How to Leave a Job You Love

I've always been a teacher. Even when I was sure I would never be a teacher, I was teaching. My first jobs included coaching basketball, teaching swim lessons, a Sunday school teacher, teaching ballroom dance - always teaching. I come from a long line of teachers, so it wasn't too far fetched when I got my teaching certificate and started down that path.

My first teaching job was in high school (the same high school I had attended just a few years prior) as a Marketing and Entrepreneurship teacher. Then down to 6th grade in elementary school for a few years. Next I subbed for awhile while my kids were little. Next I taught Science (K-5) and the gifted program (3rd, 4th & 5th) with a stellar team of specialists. When I got riffed (lost my position), I taught a 4th/5th split highly capable program. And until yesterday, I had spent 8 years at a middle school teaching Spanish, media and yearbook.

This pillow is an End of Year gift from Shelby - Gracias Chica

I have taught every grade level and dozens of content areas. I have a number of certifications and endorsements and am National Board Certified (twice!). I have taught since the time of pencil and paper grade books and moved to digital. I have gone from teaching keyboarding skills to teaching HTML coding. I have watched the educational pendulum swing back and forth a few times in regards to best educational practices and curriculums. I have spoken in the state capitol to fight for education funding and picketed on street corners.

I've worked hard to get where I am in my career. When we decided we were going to start this adventure, a big item in my 'Con' column of the pro/con list was that I love my job and it wouldn't be right to leave something at which I had worked so hard. I think I still make a difference in the lives of 14 year olds. And, while I'm usually exhausted each evening, I have enjoyed every teaching position I have been in - my current position most of all. 

So, how did I come to the decision to walk away from this job I love? Easy. There is more to this life than work. If a job takes it all out of you and you are too tired to give 100% to your kids and spouse, then it's ok to move on. If every conversation outside of school revolves around educational politics, parents driving you crazy, lack of funding for education, a boy saying he is going to blow up the school, dozens of meetings and another new curriculum, it's time to find something else to talk about.

There are other amazing educators out there who have worked just as hard as I have and are probably better at what they do than I. There is always someone fresher, with new ideas and a strong work ethic. I am replaceable to the education system and my students. But I am the only mom my kids have and the only wife Pat has. I only get one shot at this 'raising my kids' thing. One chance at this life. I am going to make the most of it. I don't need to be in a classroom to teach. And I am definitely not finished learning. I'm taking it on the road. AdiĆ³s!

Just to make it more difficult to leave, my lovely yearbook editors made the this video and presented it during an all school assembly the other day - I cried like a baby.
After watching my lovely video (above) made by my yearbook editors.

While I received hundreds of kind and caring messages from kids, staff and parents, here are a few funny things written in my new book made by my editors and on my white board on the last day of school (middle school humor):

You're the best least the 2nd best anyway.
Thanks for teaching me words in Spanish.
This class is pretty OK.
Thanks for grading papers fast.
You are nice sometimes.

Logging out for the last time
Room is all cleaned out

Last day of middle school for both Jack and I


  1. You are pretty OK, Alexa! Be safe and find bliss! Much love, Sam.

  2. PS: You write well. Write this adventure down with details! People will come.

    1. Gracias - you know, you're pretty ok too :)


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