The day came and went without me even realizing it. A year had passed since I quit substitute teaching.
If you go back and read this post, it paints a rather rosy picture of me quitting my day job to pursue a dream. In fact, what really happened wasn’t as rosy. I was cornered in a parking lot by a group of angry teenagers (because I’d told their teacher how they’d behaved when I subbed for them the day before). I was afraid for my life, quit my job without notice, and scrambled to make a complete career change in a very small amount of time.
I was terrified.
At the time, I kept it from the blog because I didn’t want anyone to talk to me about it. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t stand up for myself. I was worried that the kids would find me through social media. I was constantly making/taking calls from cops, administrators, and angry teachers that I’d bailed on because I was too afraid to go back to school. I even lost a teacher-friend over it.
To put it simply, I didn’t want to drag that into my private little blog space. I didn’t even want to remember it in my journal. This is the only entry I have that sheds light on the situation, written a week after the fact:
With one year behind me, I can write about this more easily. It seems silly to be afraid of half a dozen teens in a parking lot now.
Ultimately, I’m very happy that I abandoned my career in teaching. I had done it for several years and I could feel myself starting to stagnate. What I do now allows me the freedom for side projects, creativity, and travel; benefits that aren’t found in many careers. I still have days where I miss the kids — you know, the ones that don’t threaten to inflict bodily harm upon your person. But there’s a lot of it that I don’t miss. I don’t miss working late for little appreciation. I don’t miss chaperoning prom and feeling like I didn’t belong because I was a sub. I don’t miss teaching to walls, because the students were so disengaged with everything. I definitely don’t miss waking up at 6 AM to be anywhere. No, thank you.
Making freelancing my full time job wasn’t easy, but after a year of hindsight, I know struggle was worth it. In my journal, I had the optimism to write about possibility before struggle. Thank you, past self, for being wise enough to want to remember it this way.
Have you ever abruptly quit a job or changed your career? Are you a teacher? Do you think I’m nuts for any of this? Let me know in the comments!
Big thanks also goes to all of my cheerleaders through the past year: Mike, Jenny, Kelley, Mom & Dad.