Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Packing up several years’ worth of supplies purchased with my own money, I heave a deep exhale. The room looks so bare now. It’s less colorful and joyful. It’s lost its magic. 

I kind of feel the same way about myself. After months of contemplation and decision-making, I won’t be unpacking these boxes when school returns in August. I won’t be returning to the classroom at all. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost some of that teacher magic that once sparkled so brilliantly. 

But if I’ve spent so much time making this choice, why am I overcome with this many different emotions? 

RELATED: The Invisible Weight Teachers Carry

Sad, because I’ll deeply miss my students, their families, and my co-workers. They’ve always been worth the energy and work. The relationships I’ve been lucky to build won’t be the same, even if I keep in touch. They’ll be dismantled, shifted. I feel the truth of that realization in a very real sense. 

Angry, because (selfishly) I couldn’t believe how quickly I was replaced. And of course, that’s a good thing, to know that students will be in good hands. But I’ve become aware that I’m no longer included in as many meetings and conversations. It stings. It’s almost like everyone has moved on . . . but me. 

Happy, because I’ll be dedicating thousands of more hours to my family. That was my primary reason for resigning. It’s funny, growing up I always thought teaching was the best career for moms. And maybe it still is, but I can’t be the mom and teacher I want to be concurrently. I know many women who do this beautifully, but I don’t seem to be able to manage it like they can. And that’s okay. For now, my priorities have shifted and the anticipation of being more available for my kids is what gets me out of bed in the morning. In this sense, I’m counting down the days. 

Relieved, because no longer will I be juggling a million different balls that at times, let’s be honest, seem to be on fire. Meetings, emails, grading, accommodations, collaboration, professional development . . . all on top of the actual lesson planning and teaching taking place all day. The mental and social exhaustion sucks all my energy, leaving little left by the time I get home. I look forward to closing out the million tabs that seem to be perpetually open in my mind. 

Lost, because, who am I if not a teacher? It’s what I played as a little kid, gently correcting the grammar of my stuffed animals. It’s what I went into student loan debt for. It’s what I prayed and persevered and cried over until that first full-time job was offered. I haven’t left school since I started as a student. What will I do now? And when I return to work, will I return to the same field? Sometimes I’m not so sure. 

RELATED: Good Teachers Are Leaving the Field and It’s Time We Talk about Why

These feelings wax and wane like the moon, gripping my thoughts while I teach my lessons and begin the process of communicating this change. I find myself justifying my decision to resign a hundred times over, and still not quite convincing myself that this was irrevocably the right call to make.

My days are numbered at school, and it weighs on me more than I could have anticipated. It feels like a heavy goodbye, a weighted vest that adds a pound each time someone wishes me luck or asks me if I’m counting down the days. 

But I find peace in knowing why this has been so emotional. It’s because all these years have mattered. The work teachers do, it matters every day. And so the goodbye is painful, but the love is never lost. I will gladly wear this heavy goodbye until summer starts the year anew. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Brianna Baranowski

Brianna Baranowski is a California girl loving the Iowa way of life! She is a boy mom who thrives on authentic and honest connection. Brianna is a writer, naturalist, and former teacher.

Good Teachers Are Leaving the Field, and It’s Time We Talk About Why

In: Child, Living
Teacher in school

The filter comes off now. I think it’s easier for people to believe that I left teaching because of the lousy pay. It was easier for my former HR director to believe it was because I found something that I was more passionate about. Some would allow them to assume that—let them be comfortable in their assumptions because your truth may lead to discomfort of others. Well, I’m not some. That ain’t me. Let me tell you why those who ooze passion for teaching are leaving the occupation like their hair is on fire.  1. The old excuse “the kids...

Keep Reading

I Left a Piece of My Heart in Room 208

In: Living, Motherhood
Classroom of empty desks, color photo

I walked down the hall, past the rows of bright orange lockers. Past the U.S. history classroom and the eighth-grade science room.  The next door was mine. Room 208. As I slipped the key into the lock, I noted the “Bring it on” poster my students fist bump on the way into the room (a fun class routine we started a few years ago). Without thinking, I softly kicked the door open as I turned the knob, knowing the door sticks when it’s hot. I walked inside, scanning the room, taking in objects that have been a part of my...

Keep Reading

I Left My Job As a Principal Because We’re Over-Testing Our Kids

In: Journal, School
I Left My Job As a Principal Because We're Over-Testing Our Kids www.herviewfromhome.com

Kids are born with curious minds. They want to play and explore to learn more about the world around them. They love to talk, pretend, and create. Then they go to school. The very place where kids should learn by doing has instead become a place where they now exist as a data point. I have every right to make this claim and stand by it; I am a former principal who left the position because we say we’re doing what’s best for students when nothing can be further from the truth. What I’m about to say is going to...

Keep Reading