This post originally appeared on the blog The Craft of Teaching.
Isn’t it funny how time flies?
About this time last year, I’d had enough of my teaching position. While I LOVED my class, my colleagues, and my school, my relationship with my administrator had gone significantly downhill. I knew it was time for a change. I felt stuck, unhappy, stressed out and generally like there was no way to make things better.
I came home from a particularly frustrating day of professional development after school had ended for the year, and updated my resume (mostly out of frustration and anger). I was in such a bad place. I pulled up a neighboring district’s webpage and started browsing jobs. And I thought to myself, “You can either submit that resume and have a little bit of hope to get out of this situation OR you can do nothing and keep feeling awful about being a teacher.” I knew that even if not one school called me, I would have a job, and I figured I could live with that.
I want to pause here and say this again: I LOVED my school. I taught there for 11 years. I felt like a part of the community. For many years I had been in the awesome position of having siblings of former students. Parents knew me and I felt like I worked with members of my family. I had great kids pretty much every year.
I was SO sad to say goodbye. I cried when I was offered a job at a new school. I cried just thinking about leaving my home away from home. I stood in my empty classroom and cried. I cried when I hugged my friends to say good-bye. I cried in my car driving my things to my new school. I cried while putting away my books in a new place. I am not even a crier!
Changing schools was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
I had many moments of doubt. Tons of fear. And it was really hard to talk to my friends and hear about my former students, other colleagues, and things that were going on at my old school.
At the beginning of the year, I questioned myself A LOT. I was so used to kids seeing me and waving to me in the halls and hollering my name before school for a quick wave and a hug. That wasn’t happening. It was hard!
Then one day, I was leaving school. Our before and after school program was letting the kids have their snack and play outside. And I heard it! A student hollered my name and when I turned around she was waving at me wildly. My heart swelled up and I knew, at that very moment, that I absolutely had made the right decision.
I’m SO happy I took that leap. My new school is just what I needed. I had the BEST class this year and made some great connections with students and their families. The other teachers helped me out in every way imaginable. Not to mention, I am happy, not as stressed out, and feel supported and valued by my administrator. My husband has even noticed how much happier I am.
I have been thinking about this blog post for awhile. I was finally inspired to get it down on paper because I know so many teachers start thinking about making those types of changes this time of year. And I want people to know that, even though those changes are so, so hard, everything will be ok in the end.
One day, you’ll hear your name too, and you’ll know that you landed in the right place.
Nichole is a 5th grade teacher in the great state of Colorado! She has been teaching upper elementary for the past 14 years, and loves being in the classroom with students. Nichole has a serious passion for teaching math and helping students feel confident in their mathematical abilities. She holds a master’s degree in Mathematics Education. When she’s not teaching or working on her TpT store, The Craft of Teaching, she enjoys a good cup of coffee paired with a nice, long Netflix binge. You can keep up with her on her blog, The Craft of Teaching, or through Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.