Thirteen and a half years ago, I taught my last day in a 4th grade classroom of my own students. My water broke that night and I became a mother 3 1/2 weeks earlier than this planner had planned! It was a rough transition for me as that little baby (who is now my teenager) suffered with colic and weighed only 4lbs 8oz when we brought her home. Labor was difficult and we both almost didn’t make it. The meds they had me on caused hallucinations and my husband for lack of companionship began writing down the things I shouted at him when I became alert during a contraction. He has about eight pages of notes that we have saved for when we need a good laugh! I literally spent the day of labor teaching lessons, lining the class up for specials and correcting specific students. My daughter entered this world at the same time the bell rang to end the school day.
Over the years while mothering her and her little sister (also colicky) who joined us three years later, I always wondered if I would ever go back to teaching. Teaching was never a job for me. It was a passion. I could walk into my classroom and forget everything that was going on in the outside world. Car problems, relationship issues, even my stress subsided. I began subbing five years ago and realized that after a full day of teaching, I didn’t have much energy left for my girls. I’d get cranky helping with homework (but maybe that’s normal) and find myself snipping at them. I didn’t like it. I told those who asked that I could never go back full time.
I started writing which brings great joy and fulfilled a very big childhood dream. Yet it hasn’t exactly paid the bills. So I continued subbing. This fall the start times for elementary and middle school are changing and it wasn’t looking too good for me to continue subbing with our family’s new schedule. My youngest daughter’s GT teacher came into her class when I was subbing the last week of school. She told me she was leaving for a full time position at another school. My eyebrows raised as I considered what that could mean. After much discussion and prayer with my husband, I applied, interviewed (via phone during a camping trip!), was offered and accepted the part time Gifted and Talented teaching position at my daughter’s school.
I am going back.
After 13.5 years! I’m a bit shell-shocked thinking “what have I got myself into?” But I also lay awake night after night excitedly flooded with ideas and possibilities. I already love this staff and the students I’ll be working with.
And yes, I will keep writing. My next book should be out next month if everything goes well with the post-production. And there are more stories in my head waiting their turn…