Life is short. And we are not promised tomorrow. I love teaching. I love watching a child "unlock" the "code" to reading English. I love the diversity that urban schools bring into the classroom for greater global learning. This will never end. EVER. 

A Break From Teaching
With multiple tragedies (psst...threatening a 'write up' because I want to go to Arlington to attend my Grandfather's service is cruel), traumas (psst...I will never grind my teeth and scare a child into submission EVER again-the eyes of that little boy still haunt me not to mention the little girl who OBVIOUSLY had emotion issues, sitting ALONE in a classroom) and harassment (psst...if you know your employee is suffering-saying "I understand you wouldn't want to you want hear voices in your head" is NOT the appropriate thing to say, and lies about my leadership position) my heart broke and I lost who I was.

And it just kept piling up through out the year-Was it me? Was it the administration? Was is the classroom environment? Was it the district? Was it my messy desk? Or was I just a number that had to be pushed out? I will never know. 

But I did know I had to rediscover the love of life in order to return to the classroom and sadly leave a community I was deeply involved with, loved, and wanted to stay with forever.

I was a glorified baby sitter, crying out for help and NOT teaching. I actually questioned MY ability to teach (pssst..when you focus on everything your employee is doing wrong-that is all the employee will focus on and their effectiveness will go down-studies prove it). But you know what? I AM AN EXCELLENT teacher. But I need finish healing from the tragedies, traumas and harassment I went through before I step back in the classroom. I want to be at my very best. Loving myself and loving life. Children need a teacher who is strong, capable and lovable, not a puppet following along with the most recent teaching strategy. Children need a leader. Children (especially in urban schools) need a soft spoken, patient teacher. Not a "yeller" I need to be ME. 

Grief and Healing
Healing means different things to different people. I recently read Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (psst....if you haven't read it-read it). The main character sees a therapist and they talk about the subject of grief.

"What is grief, anyhow? What does it even mean?" I'm being obstinate
 "I'd say it's a temporary derangement. Freud put it as something like a departure from the normal attitude of life."
I stare Jenny square in the eyes so she can see my annoyance. "One, my questions were rhetorical. I know what grief is. Two, thank you for calling me deranged."
Jenny smiles as if to soften her insult. "Grief is a pathological condition. It's just that so many of us go through it in life that we never think to treat it as such. We just expect people to go through it, endure it, and come out the other side."

Fortunately, I did come out the other side with the support of family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, doctors, my cats and the knowledge that I do love life and all the things I am grateful for. It is in there. And going through the healing process I am digging it out. Volunteering at hospice, the boys and girls club and helping an 88 year old man with day to day chores is bringing the ME back. 

What next?
So what happens when the next tragedy occurs? As Tony Robbins would say, that tragedy happened because it was meant to make me stronger and help others. What happens when the next trauma happens? First, if I can prevent it-I will. I will stand up and say "No, I will not do that to a child." If I cannot prevent it, I will stand up for others and take care of myself and the students in a healthy way, teaching them skills I have learned over the past year. And harassment? I won't allow it. I will call it out-and make it stop. 

I am excited and thrilled to return to the classroom. This school year, 2015-2016 was a bad year. But I came out stronger, full of life and energy, and eager to teach children again. 

Ultimately, I learned so much from the 2015-2016 school year. I am ever so grateful for that. 

In the meantime, you can follow me on my other blog: Check out my little hobbies!