I adore seeing your smiling face in the hallway every morning.
“Ms. Jackson!” you squeal as if it’s the first time you’ve seen me in months, rather than hours. “I can’t wait ‘til I’m in your class next year.”
Well. I have a secret. Can you keep it?
I’m not coming back next year.
“You are going to have the most amazing 6th grade reading teacher, my dear!”
How long is that line going to work before you realize that I’m not talking about myself? I dislike crafting these vague statements and lies of omission, but I’m not ready to let everyone know yet.
I will miss your smiling face and the opportunity to build relationships with the 107 other 5th grade students I won’t teach next year.
But I will not miss teaching. I will not miss these fluorescent lights, the crowded halls, this classroom.
I’m not cut out for this. I’m not the best person for this job. You deserve a teacher with more experience, grit, creativity, passion and disciplinary skills.
I truly, deeply, hope that you will have the best reading teacher in the world next year.
But she won’t be me.
All my love,
This one hit me hard. I admire your incredible vulnerability and bravery in sharing these feelings. Making the decision to leave the classroom–and now, making the decision to go back– were both incredibly hard decisions for me. I felt the way this post describes on SO many days at my old school. Here’s hoping I can become cut out to teach in the way our kids deserve.
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This pretty perfectly described my last few months of teaching as well, even down to how I felt about my teaching skills. Did it become clearer to you each year?
Thank you for your commitment to our kids! I am confident that you are just the teacher they need to reach their potential. You inspire me!
Glad to know I’m not the only one who felt this way, but I wonder why so many teachers experience self-doubt about their abilities as successful educators. Maybe years of experience help build confidence as well as teaching skills.