This was the first day of school in over a decade that I was not greeting a new set of students.
How did it feel you ask? Kind of glorious to be honest, but mostly bittersweet.
When you spend year after year setting up a classroom then teaching, nurturing, evaluating, etc – and then you decide it’s time for another chapter in your life to begin, you really reflect on the countless hours of work and preparation you put in.
Was it worth it? Sure. Did I love it? At the time, yes. Do I regret leaving? No.
It was definitely time for me to make a change. Don’t get me wrong – leaving an amazing staff was tough, but I knew I needed to move on. If I had gone back into the classroom this year I anticipate I would have burned myself out long before March – the usual time of year when burnout for me occurs.
This September marks a change in my life, a welcome one. Maybe in a few years I’ll return to the classroom, refreshed from making that necessary change. We’ll see.
My commute to work the last few years is now part of the past. My co-teacher used to pick me up in the mornings around 6:45 Monday through Friday for three or four years. We’d head up 1st avenue, chatting during the drive, sometimes stopping for coffee or at the bank, then arriving at school just after 7. The way home would be a walk to the 6 train or sometimes a full 2.5 mile walk home, depending on the day I had.
But now my commute has changed. I had to establish a new commute routine because I started a new position as a “central employee” based out of the Bronx division office.
So Sunday night I walked to Grand Central after our ramen bowls to get a 10-trip ticket for Metro North. A three-way subway transfer every morning would end up frustrating me, so I chose the most appealing method of transport to start my day. I looked up the train schedule for Monday morning and determined the best time to leave home to catch the 7:18 train, arriving at 7:36. Perfect for an 8am start. Just enough time to stop in the Starbucks located near the entrance of the building. So far, the morning trip is great! I have a nice 10-12 minute walk to Grand Central, not accompanied by many people on the sidewalk at 7am, and not a lot of people on that reserve commute out of the city.
The way home is not as desirable but it’s not horrible. I now take a west side train, the B or D because it’s the nearest to the office. And by nearest I mean, a 10 minute walk. As a walker, not a big deal at all. It’s just an interesting walk. So I hop on the subway and could transfer to the 4 to get to the east side but it takes the same amount of time if I just stay on the B or D and walk home from Rockefeller – which is a nice walk anyway.
Now, this new commute routine will only be valid for the next couple of weeks, because after that I’ll be making site visits and those locations will be different every day. So guess what? No routine there! The routine would be that there is no routine – which I will happily get used to.
Enjoy your long weekend everyone!
Thoughts of a doctorate have been dancing in my head.
Conversations have been had.
Opportunity is knocking.
What to do, what to do?
I subscribed to the feeds of Action for Happiness on Facebook. I enjoy following these kinds of non-profits that promote health, happiness and well-being. They offer insight and validity to life when you need it.
The feed below was posted this morning, and it really caught my attention:
Three fundamental needs for human wellbeing: autonomy (feeling in control), competence (feeling capable) and relatedness (feeling connected).
I completely agree and I never really thought that you could capture your well-being in three words (potentially starting with the same letter)…
When I read that post, at that moment I realized why I need a change.
At home, these fundamental needs for well-being are met.
At work, not. I’m missing one of these fundamental needs. I’ve been searching for what what missing. And now it has a name.
I’m missing the A. I don’t have the autonomy I need to feel fulfilled in my job. The “autonomy” isn’t real.
And the sad part is… is has nothing to do with the kids, the teaching, the standards, the curriculum, the professional development, or even the parents. This has to do with micromanagement. And that, I can’t take anymore. It’s time for a new chapter, one the A.