Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Not Teaching

Four weeks ago, I was meeting with my partner teacher, discussing the curriculum I was to teach this year. I was a bit nervous about starting at 2 new buildings, but just so excited to get back into the classroom (after a 3 year hiatus to have babies) to work the minds of those teenagers, introducing new books, getting some great writing out of them, etc. And then I came home to my cancer diagnosis. And I knew what I had to do.

A lot of people asked me if I was still going to teach, and my husband tried to convince me that I could still do it. But I didn’t even hesitate…I knew I had to quit. Kids, especially teenagers, need consistency. They need a teacher who would be there day in and day out, both mentally, physically and emotionally. I knew that wasn’t going to be possible with me, so I did what I had to do.

Plus, who knew how much of my energy would be sapped by all the “stuff” I’d be going through. And any that I had left needed to be given to my own kids and husband. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed to just quit.

Although the decision was easy, the ramifications of that decision is not. One of the reasons why I had to get back into the classroom was because I was bored. Cooking and cleaning up and other household duties are just that to me…duties. Not fun. Not stimulating. Just boring work. But teaching is a challenge. It’s exciting and it’s fun. It’s also very hard and very time consuming and there are many days when I wish I didn’t have to face the attitudes and the parents and the apathy. However, overall I gain a lot of my self-worth and energy from the positive results of my planning and teaching…from the students themselves.

But I did have to laugh yesterday when I received my first (and last) paycheck from the district where I was employed for one day. That day that I worked on curriculum, I actually got paid for. I honestly feel guilty cashing it…but it will be used for something good. Also this week, my teaching license for Minnesota finally made it through the renewal process. Great…except I don’t need it now. But I’ll hold onto it, keep it in a safe place, because in a year or two, it will still be valid, and I WILL actually put it to good use.

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At 10:51 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

...and until the time comes when you return to the classroom, you are more than welcome to handle some of Faith's lessons! I almost called the So. St. Paul elementary today to enroll her; I was at the end of my rope!! What over?

Nouns and Pronouns. Boy, I'm in a bad spot if I can't even bring my 7yr old daughter to learn that. Truth is, it's all about that consistency you spoke about in your post. It's something I lacked over this summer (along with a schedule and effective discipline) and now I'm reaping the consequences.


At 8:25 AM, Blogger KC said...

Cari, you're right - in a year or two, you'll resume your career and be able to feel that excitement all over again.

Hang in there, woman. In the meantime, I bet you could do YA reviews for Becky... do you do that already? You'd be an awesome person to be part of that publication.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cari, it never hurts to ask. Ask and you may receive, seek and you may find............ That school system still may have a need for your services in some way or another. Once you know how you will feel, you may also ask that school system to keep you in mind for the next semester in whatever capacity they may think they can benefit from your experience and services. You just set the parameters of time you think you can give (not necessarily in the physical school as you have to be careful of germs while receiving chemo)but maybe you can do something from home. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could continue to work while being available to you and your family in Minnesota. And here I am working from Minnesota, being of value to my company and receiving a paycheck. Unbelievable!!!

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision you made not to teach comes from the heart aand soul of a really good teacher, thinking of her students and family at a time when she really needs to focus on number one. Hang in there; you still have so many lives to impact.
Susan W

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Agent M said...

You are such a strong woman. I'm glad I found your blog, you inspire me.

At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Jaye said...

There's always consulting - make your own hours, etc. - like your Mom said, ask and you shall receive. God knows what's best - right now, it's taking heed unto yourself, so you can be your best for your family.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Caro said...

That was a good decision. You need to focus on yourself and your family and you're a wise woman for knowing that.


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