I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for several months and have not come up with anything, so I’ll keep it raw and honest. Next year, I will not be a classroom teacher.
I love teaching. I love experiencing children’s growth alongside them. I love seeing what they need and coming up with the right resource to help them. I love advising my sweet darlings on new situations as they begin their tween years. I love hearing from past students.
I don’t love disrespect. I don’t love keeping track of papers that students may or may not return. I don’t love the pressure of standardized testing. I don’t love sitting in the car for 2 hours every day. I don’t love the way that I love teaching so much that it has taken over my life.
Yesterday, I arrived in Maui. As we made our final descent, I noticed how different the clouds look here. I wish my students could fly over the ocean and EXPERIENCE the differences in the water cycle over land and over the ocean.
On our cab ride to the hotel, my honey pointed out wind turbines on a hill in the distance. He knows that I am always on the lookout for real-life examples of the concepts I teach.
Later, as we walked along the beach, we discussed the examples of slow changes around us. My students would benefit so much from seeing what I saw.
I’m in Maui at a beautiful resort with the greatest man in the world and I’m trying to figure out how I can be a better teacher to my students. That is why I need a break. I can deal with the other stuff that comes along with the job. I cannot continue to let my identity as a teacher rule all aspects of my life.
Oh, I will still be The Science Penguin. I can’t possibly leave education altogether. It’s too important. Maybe all of my work on The Science Penguin is what wore me out. People ask all the time how I do both. You do what you feel you have to do. I’ve felt for years that doing both was non-negotiable. I love teaching. I love The Science Penguin.
In reality, I’m better at creating resources than I am at teaching. I love how caught up I can get on a product. I love blogging. I love hearing about how what I’ve created works for students. I love interacting with teachers from all over the world. I even love working on examples (not answer keys). Most of all, I love impacting classrooms all over the world. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had.
Every night before bed, I do a crossword. It’s 10-30 minutes of time that is just for me and no one else. There is seriously no one else in the world that cares about my crossword. I need more of that. Maybe this is a selfish time in my life, but I really don’t care.
I plan to work on The Science Penguin for 40-50 hours a week. What else am I going to do? I seriously don’t know. Maybe I’ll paint. Maybe I’ll get some exercise. Maybe I’ll eat Cheetos and watch Bravo all day. I really don’t know. And it’s beautiful.