After eighteen years at my school I have jumped for next year. On 27th January, as my colleagues return to work, I will be sailing from Tasmania home, to embark on two and a half weeks long service leave and followed by leave without pay until the end of Term 4.
I was going to drop to four days next year to pursue other interests but realistically, the workload in modern day teaching precludes other interests, it precludes a life. I need a break.
I am excited. I am putting out the energy that casual work will be found in abundance and that my books will be written and meditation classes popular and workshops successful.
I deserve this.
I am worth this.
I desire this.
I have moments of fear. I acknowledge them and I keep moving forward.
I do not want to have regrets in my life because of fear. I move back to security, if I want to, at the end of the year. I have ensured that I have not burnt bridges and whilst my decision will impact more on some than others, I have chosen to put me first, for the first time ever probably, without guilt.
As I said to my Early Career Teachers and Year 12, I need to walk my talk. I need to practice what I preach. I need to model a way forward in modern teaching.
Teachers can lose themselves in the safe identity of teacher. I did for years. I sacrificed a lot – by choice – but not consciously. I do not want to keep sacrificing all of my other dreams and desires. So, I choose to jump, to risk, to embrace fear, to liberate myself. And I’m excited to see where my life takes me.
2017 will be a better year.