Monday, October 13, 2014

Steph Says: Why I Left

Presently Free.
It means a lot of things, but the most obvious one is that we're no longer tied down by our past profession--teaching.

Ahhh...teaching. There were the rough days, yes. The days I wanted to crawl under my desk and hide from my next class. The day a certain student crawled under my desk and scared the crap out of me when I "found" him hiding an hour later. The days that were supposed to be holidays spent catching up on endless papers to grade. The days that I seriously questioned my sanity. Why did I even want to become a teacher in the first place?

No...really... Why?
My degree is in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.
Yea no, it's nowhere near teaching. And yet, there I was.

In college, I discovered my passion for event planning. Nothing made me feel more satisfied or fulfilled than seeing an event I helped to plan go off without a hitch. I had found what I loved to do... but after graduating and moving back home, I struggled to find a job in PR. I remember one person I spoke with saying, "Oh, you're looking for a job in PR? Bless your heart," which here in the South is a nice way of saying "Someone please put this poor, feeble-minded individual out of her misery."  Yea... we can be real sweet 'round here.

I ended up working for an advertising firm that really didn't respect my talents, and frankly, I was miserable. I'd get in my car at the end of the day and just cry because I was so relieved to go home.

Another crucial moment in my life when I realized I was worthy of so much more.

So my mom, who taught elementary school for years, suggested I look into becoming a teacher.

School schedule? Check.
Weeks off for holidays? Check.
Two months off for summer? Check.
Molding the minds of young scholars? Check. (Okay, who am I kidding? Uncheck that last one. I tried though!)
Never once was I under the impression that teaching would be easy, but I deffffffinitely underestimated just how difficult it would be.
The life of a high school English teacher (or any teacher, for that matter) ain't all sunshine and roses and A+s, my friends. It's tough. It is not for the faint of heart. The bad days will outnumber the good ones. But still... I did it. And I absolutely LOVED it.

I loved my job.
I loved the people I worked with.
I loved the friends who became so much more than coworkers.

"The Group"

I loved the school supplies.
I loved sharing To Kill A Mockingbird with my English classes.
I loved the crazy, fun, school spirit of it all.
I loved the chances we got to make total fools of ourselves.

Mmmmkay, maybe not LOVED...

Most of all, I loved my kids.
My kids. My babies. My students.
These kids still have so much of my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them and miss them terribly. I've been lucky enough to stay in touch with a few of them that I was especially close to, and I'm super thankful for that. They were such a blessing to me and I will never forget how much joy they brought to my career.

And yet, I left them. I left Atticus Finch. I left the amazing pranks and Christmas surprises like this one:

Three years in a's a Christmas miracle.

I left those incredible, beautiful, wonderful kids--kids who will forever own a huge piece of my heart.
I left because yet again... I realized I was worthy of so much more.
And so were my kids.

Wait, what?

At the end of the day, I knew I wasn't the best teacher out there. You know the saying, "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach?" Well, I CAN DO. English? Literature? Writing? That's me. So when a kid struggled to understand how Great Expectations was something worth reading and not just a torture device imposed upon them, I struggled to answer them. 
Why do you have to read Great Expectations? BECAUSE IT'S GOOD. Yea, Dickens is long-winded and I think he liked the sound (look?) of his own voice (words?) a little too much, but overall it's an incredible mystery all about the redeeming power of true love... BUT IT'S GOOD, so just stop complaining and READ IT!!!
At that point, I'd already lost the battle. And to be quite honest, in five years of teaching, I never figured out how I was supposed to win the war.

So what's a girl with a degree in Mass Communications/PR who has fallen in love with working in a school to do?

Risk it all on a new job, of course. 

I don't really know how to make this long story short, and I'll spare you the gory details, but basically I found out that my dream job as an assistant event planner was opening up at another private school much closer to my house. It was PERFECT. 
Part time: I'd get to spend more time with Rascal Mae. 
Event planning: my favorite. 
School setting: I'd still get to work with kids.

So I apply, I interview, and the principal doesn't seem to be thrilled with the fact that I'm under contract at another school. (Mind you, we signed contracts in mid-April, before this new job even existed.) 
After two weeks of major soul-searching, prayer, and tears, I decided to take a risky leap of faith and end my contract with the school I considered my second home, in order to open myself up for this new opportunity.
It was a huge gamble... and unfortunately, it did not pay off. After three more weeks of climbing the walls, I found out via email that someone else had been hired for the position. 
I was completely heartbroken. 

Now here I am, with no job and no real prospects. I've applied. I've gone on interviews. I've been turned down. I've hit emotional rock bottom.

But I'm climbing out of this pit. I'm getting stronger. I'm making myself better.

I'm presently free.


  1. "Every time you are able to find some humor in a difficult situation, you win." -unknown ♡

  2. I admire you so much for chasing your dream job and not settling in a job that wasn't meant for you, especially teaching because so many people stay in it even when they no longer love it. You are awesome!! And now getting to spend all that time with your girl, sure is a wonderful bonus!!!