The Decision

Without a job for only the third time in my life

About a year ago, I’d had enough. After a career of starting over – newspapers to PR, PR to freelance, freelance to school secretary, school secretary to newspapers, newspapers to freelance, freelance to six years of teaching, primarily in an inner-city school – I was done.

I could go into the nastiness of public education, the twisted emphasis on testing, the crazed blame game that puts teachers in the center of the target, the constant underfunding, the lack of care for the kids by an unfeeling bureaucracy, but that’s been  said by others and said better.  I had the privilege of working with thoughtful, dedicated teachers and funny, creative kids who, despite adolescence, poverty, trauma and a lack of English language skills, worked hard to learn.

Despite that, the critical and increasing oversight by the school and district administration became too much. I started dreading going in to school, cringing at the sight of administrators, complaining at every opportunity. I found myself saying, far too often, “I’m too old for this shit.”

Unlike many people, I had an out. My son was done with college. My husband has an excellent job. I had the option of quitting. I took it. For only the third time in my life since college, I am unemployed.

For the first time, I am happy about it.  I am back in the groove for which I am best suited: starting over again.