The Other Side of Change

Isn’t it funny how time flies?

About this time last year, I had had enough of my teaching position. While I LOVED my class, my colleagues, and my school, my relationship with my administrator had gone significantly downhill. I knew it was time for a change. I felt stuck, unhappy, stressed out and generally like there was no way to make things better.

I came home from a particularly frustrating day of professional development after school had ended for the year, and updated my resume (mostly out of frustration and anger). I was in such a bad place. I pulled up a neighboring district’s webpage and started browsing jobs. And I thought to myself, “You can either submit that resume and have a little bit of hope to get out of this situation OR you can do nothing and keep feeling awful about being a teacher.” I knew that even if not one school called me, I would have a job, and I figured I could live with that.

I want to pause here and say this again: I LOVED my school. I taught there for 11 years. I felt like a part of the community. For many years I had been in the awesome position of having siblings of former students. Parents knew me and I felt like I worked with members of my family. I had great kids pretty much every year.

I was SO sad to say goodbye. I cried when I was offered a job at a new school. I cried just thinking about leaving my home away from home. I stood in my empty classroom and cried. I cried when I hugged my friends to say good-bye. I cried in my car driving my things to my new school. I cried while putting away my books in a new place. I am not even a crier!

Changing schools was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. 

I had many moments of doubt. Tons of fear. And it was really hard to talk to my friends and hear about my former students, other colleagues and things that were going on at my old school.

At the beginning of the year, I questioned myself A LOT. I was so used to kids seeing me and waving to me in the halls and hollering my name before school for a quick wave and a hug. That wasn’t happening. It was hard!

Then one day, I was leaving school. Our before and after school program was letting the kids have their snack and play outside. And I heard it! A student hollered my name and when I turned around she was waving at me wildly. My heart swelled up and I knew, at that very moment, that I absolutely had made the right decision.

I’m SO happy I took that leap. My new school is just what I needed. I had the BEST class this year and made some great connections with students and their families. The other teachers helped me out in every way imaginable. Not to mention, I am happy, not as stressed out, and feel supported and valued by my administrator. My husband has even noticed how much happier I am.

I have been thinking about this blog post for awhile. I was finally inspired to get it down on paper because I know so many teachers start thinking about making those types of changes this time of year. And I want people to know that, even though those changes are so, so hard, everything will be ok in the end.

One day, you’ll hear your name too, and you’ll know that you landed in the right place.

This post was recently featured on the TpT Blog.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Rachel Vincent

    This is me! I just said goodbye to my school of 11 years and am moving on to another place! It's hard to say good bye but I know it's the right choice!

    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. Nala Shaver

    Awe! Switching schools is so hard- I can't imagine changing districts. Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad that you are happier and in a better place. 🙂

  3. Ms. O

    Thanks for sharing. I … well, to be honest I have TRIED to move every year for the past … 9 years? For so long it was the wall-less situation. The chaos drove me crazy. Like truly, can you have environmentally induced ADHD? And now it's a loooong drive and a campus that has become unhappy. Is it because of a new administrator? Hard to say … Anyway. When I'm wondering why on earth I'm still there (don't I try to be pretty good at what I do? Help the kids? Help staff? Teacher of the year? Present at conferences?) and no one else will take me … a kid will show up and wave and say "See you next year, Ms. O!" And it does help.

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