Happy Thor’s Day!
I spent a lot of time during the Christmas Break pondering what I needed to do for the future. I had concluded that I needed to return to Michigan after year one in Texas but what about teaching itself. “Do I even like to teach anymore?” was the burning question this holiday season. The answer became ‘No.’ Slowly what has developed is a list of things of why, not only I need to go back home to Michigan, but also why I need to leave the profession of teaching far behind. In the end, I have a lot of personal, professional, and philosophical reasons to leave it behind and go do something else.
Personally, the list is pretty long. 1) This job triggers my high-functioning depression a lot. I do not enjoy life as a whole right now, and I am fighting through it and trying to get back to coping mechanisms that keep it from being overwhelming. 2) I don’t like Texas or Houston very much. It’s not the people, it’s the environment. 3) I am very alone here in this situation. My family support is very distant and that is my fault. 4) I don’t enjoy the job anymore. I don’t know how this happened, but right before the break I simply thought to myself ‘I don’t like this anymore, not any bit of it.” 5) I feel like I am back in the ministry emotionally and in my last year before I left that profession – and it has only been a year and a half. I am already struggling to keep going emotionally, and that is not a good sign. I don’t seem to have the ability to leave work at work with this one and that is not good for me personally. 6) The money is good, but if I am looking at the possibility of even retiring, I need to do better. Or do I need to simply go into business for myself? Lot questions here, the one positive I will be taking home from this raid into Texas is a lot of my debt will be paid off.
Professionally, There have been so many changes this year that have robbed me of what I enjoyed about the job. I liked the process of writing lessons and figuring out what to do each day, adjusting as I went. No, our team pretty much wrote everything out ahead of time and I feel like we are being forced into a style that does not fit me. I also was told by some that I wasn’t really teaching. What they meant was I was not teaching the way they were taught in school that teaching is. I find this narrow conception of what teaching is to be my largest issue with my colleagues who graduated with education degrees. I also feel the profession of education has too much about it like this.
Philosophically, I am way too libertarian for this job. Public education is all the things we libertarians say it is. Operant conditioning is bothersome at best to me. I now know why the media uses certain terms so much. It’s about conformity, not freedom. I actually find myself applauding my students who are rebels. I am also becoming more supportive of parents who decided on alternative forms of educating their children. This system is built by politicians and bureaucrats and it shows. The fact that one cannot be a teacher and be vocal about issues without the risk of losing one’s job is also bothersome. Time to leave as soon as practical.
So, the plan is to finish the year, pack my bags, and return to Michigan. I don’t as of yet what the future will hold. What do know is I need to get out of this place and profession. I need to return to my people and a place I love and enjoy and go from there.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.