Leaving My First Teaching Job
--It feels insane to type the title of this blog and to prepare to post this HUGE announcement. For those that know me this won't come as a huge surprise, but for others it may seem like it came out of nowhere.
I've learned a lot at my present school: how to teach during a pandemic, how to organize, how to engage kids, how to collaborate, but in the end I knew it wasn't my forever school and here's why...
1) I am presently living about 2.5 hours from my family and in the long run of future things (aka hopefully starting a family) I didn't want to be that far away.
2) Going along with that-- my present district is kind of in the middle of nowhere and being that I don't have previously stated family or kids yet--my husband and I wanted to live somewhere with a little more going on. This is more of a plus to leaving and less of the driving reason why, but still part of it all.
3) Mentoring. I haven't gotten a lot of it from my school. It's not innately their fault it's one of the aspects of a small school and it was exasperated by a pandemic and online teaching-- everyone had a lot on their plates the last two years and giving me the best mentoring program just wasn't priority number one.
4) Stress. All new teachers are stressed. Your first year is exhausting, but for my not new teachers I want you to imagine your first year and then take your stress you've been experiencing navigating COVID-19 on top of that first year stress. I really, very nearly burned out and I think in part that's due to being a department of one who has to figure it all out on their own.
Sooo, hopefully that helps everyone understand the mental space I was in when I started looking for jobs. I love my students, but as a co-worker said to me "There will always be students who need you as much as you need them." . It was really hard to leave my students after working so hard to form bonds and build a sound curriculum and program. (My position has had a lot of turnover-- a new teacher every 3-4 years for the last 15.) I want anyone reading this who is in a similar position to know that sometimes leaving a job even if you love the kids and co-workers is what you need to do for YOU and YOUR career and that's OKAY!
While in teacher prep programs our programs tend to spend a lot of time preparing us to take jobs and get jobs, but they don't prepare us as well for when we end up having to leave one, so I'll be writing a couple blogs about looking for jobs, interviewing, telling kids goodbye, etc. through the next month or so for anyone else who finds themselves looking for a new job in their first few years of teaching or maybe takes this as a sign to leave... no judgement here. :)
Now the news you've been waiting for!
I'm super excited to be joining a district about 20min from where my family lives and in the Des Moines area so we can live that "big city" lifestyle. (Anyone who knows Iowa knows DSM is a small city) I'll be joining a present Spanish teacher who has been a department of one and I am SUPER excited! I am exctied for so many reasons-- to be working with another Spanish teacher , a native speaker, and someone who loves CI as much as I do. I'll most likely be teaching lower-level (Spanish I-2), but I hope I'll still have lots to share with all of you even through this process.
Thanks for reading and as always if you have any questions please reach out.
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