Today is the first day of school.
But it’s different this year.
I didn’t get up early or eat an especially hearty breakfast.
I didn’t get a new first day of school outfit or a new pair of shoes.
I haven’t spent the last two weeks in the latest round of training being required by the district.
I didn’t spend time readying my classroom or creating seating charts.
I don’t have a weeks worth of lesson plans ready or an idea of what I want to do over the next month.
I’m not excited.
I’m not nervous.
I’m not stressed.
I’m no longer a teacher.
I made the decision last year to pursue a different career.
I made the decision to pack up all my lesson plans, posters and Where’s Waldo books and find a different job.
I decided to leave the never-ending pile of papers that need to be graded, the meetings with parents who just can’t see how badly they’re screwing up their kids, the sleepless nights spent trying to think of new ways to reach that troubled student.
But with that, I left the smiles and the hugs and the pictures drawn just for me.
I left the messages from students telling me that they have decided to study science in college or that they want to be a teacher and help kids have fun learning or that they actually looked forward to school (at least a little) because of science class.
I left the discovery and the excitement and the lightbulb moments.
But I also left the disrespect, the apathy and the disappointment that comes with seeing just how cruel kids can be.
Today is the first day of school and I’m not there.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of this post is, but I do want to say to all of the teachers that are still out there on the front lines, taking the good with the bad, thank you!
I’m sorry that I’m not with you today, but many prayers have gone forth for you and your students! This year is blessed!
Say a prayer for our country’s teachers and students!
And thank a teacher for all of the hard work they do!