A couple of years ago, I was working at a non profit education program during the Summer. It was my third year at the company and I was working at a school in Harlem. I had about 20 rising Kindergarteners and usual of kids that age, they were very energetic.
One student in particular, (I’ll never forget her) was prone to these tantrums whenever she didn’t get her way. Her mother told me she had the mental capacity of a 3-4 year old. She was sweet when she was calm and unpredictable when she was not. She’d scream, run out of the classroom and her favorite saying was “I quit.” Seriously. She quit math. She quit lining up. She quit art. I often quote her in response to situations where I am left speechless.
In all seriousness I really did quit. I resigned from my teaching post this past Wednesday. Another statistic of new teacher turnovers. I lasted one month.
As mentioned before, I have tremendous experience in teaching. Ten years. Teaching should be a piece of cake. But the anxiety was taking a toll on me. I couldn’t imagine functioning with 0-2 hours of sleep. It wasn’t productive nor was it healthy.
My administrators were supportive albeit shocked and annoyed as I resigned effective immediately. That move will cost me a red flag in my file and being barred from working for the NYC Department of Education.
But I’m happier. I can breathe again. I still get bouts of anxiety thinking about my next move but overall a weight has been lifted.
I hate that I am a quitter. I worked so hard to get to where I am and to throw it away is foolish. But i look at it from a different perspective. I know I am a capable teacher. I am proud of all the accomplishments I’ve made and I’ve come to realize that just because you achieve your goals, it may not be something you necessarily want.
A lot of support has been given to me from my family and friends and some are envious of the notion of just quitting your job, but truthfully as with anything unknown, I’m quite scared.
If there is one lesson to take out of this, it is that while the future is unknown and a bit scary, I have achieved a lot and will achieve more.