A year ago at this time I was conducting Google searches for "companies that hire teachers." Not as a joke. Not out of simple curiosity. I was done. I didn't want to deal with it anymore. It didn't matter that I was finishing up a successful MA program that reinvigorated my love of learning and passion for my content. It didn't matter that I knew I was teaching better than ever before.
I was done because an anonymous parent accused me of being a pornographer (I already wrote about it here) and a week later another parent sent a vicious email to me (CC'd to my principal) that I was a soul-crusher and evil person for telling my students that Cinderella wasn't real during our fairy tale unit. I understand that second one seems like something so ridiculous that it shouldn't possibly have caused me any pain, but it was the straw. I was done busting my butt only to have people treat me like garbage. I was doing amazing things in my classroom, but the small-town witch hunt was coming after me regardless.
Full disclosure: I wrote about it that week during free writing (which I project on the screen). About how much it hurt to have people be unkind, even when you're an adult, and how it hurt more because of my love for teaching. I didn't include the details of what the people had said about me, but I did write a narrative that dealt with making the decision to stay or leave. I love teaching. I love it so much. But I don't love the other stuff, and the other stuff hit me hard with that one-two punch in such a short period of time. I wrote about it, and then I got over it. Teachers are too busy to dwell, and my passion sucked me back in. I stopped thinking about other jobs.
It's ridiculous to even imagine being in another workplace. I'm so middle school it hurts. This is where I belong.
I'm grateful that I'm not in the place I was last year. I'm grateful that I still love teaching, and that I haven't allowed anything to distract me from my love this year.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.