This wasn't the first year that I considered leaving public education. About nine years ago I went to my first retirement seminar to see what options I had. At that time I decided I needed to teach five more years to reach twenty years of service. Each year after that I found a reason to keep teaching. This year I knew by September 12 I had had enough. I progressed through the year with the goal to make this year the best possible for this group of fourth graders, and simultaneously I made an exit plan.
My first attempt at this blog post was whiny -- detailing all the things I believe are wrong in public education, but I am not really a whiny person. I like to take action. I have decided to share in several blog posts how I have decided to move forward. There are plenty of blog posts encouraging teachers to stay in teaching. I want to share what happens when you know it's time to move on.
Notice that I wrote I have the next few steps. I'm not completely sure where this path will take me. What I know for sure is I have peace for the first time in a long time. I don't want to discourage the teachers who know that education is still their calling. I want to encourage those who just feel stuck.
I plan to keep blogging this next year to share the ideas that I have collected over the last twenty-four years. I invite you to keep reading.