A part of me is afraid to let go of teaching. It’s a weird place to be. It isn’t surprising though.
I wanted to be a teacher and a writer synonymously. Becoming a teacher was easier I think, and I was going to use it to support my writing. I just didn’t manage both. I gave all to teaching: becoming better at it, the students, their families, the school. I left no real breathing space for myself.
I was talking with one of my best and closest friends on Monday. I told her that I didn’t know when my passion for teaching went, when I stopped loving going to work every day. She told me that she knew; it was the last time I took leave without pay. 2008.
And I think she is right.
I had a few years in there, finishing prior to being under investigation, in the Creative and Performing Arts faculty, where some passion came back. The staff I was working with, and the Reading to Learn and ALARM programs rejuvenated that passion. I felt alive again because I was fulfilling my creative potential I think.
There was no real passion last year, love but not passion.
On Monday, whilst out with my friend, we ran into a few of my students. Oh my. I loved seeing them. I miss the play with the kids, the symbiosis, the laughter. I miss regular contact with some of the staff. I don’t miss the politics, the gossip, the egos, the welfare, the long hours and the frustration. I do miss my classroom.
I’ve been struggling to go back to one of my adolescent fiction novels about a teen who is raped at a party even though I’ve been writing it in my head. And I think it is because I am putting the writing first. Stepping onto that path and owning it has given me pause.
I need to do what I usually do, acknowledge the fear and jump anyway.
So, I leave you to pick up my laptop and to continue writing her story.