...because I have something to tell you. And I'm really hoping you'll understand, since I haven't known exactly how to tell you all. However, as I say to my friends, "Honesty is the best policy." Granted this is something that I usually say through gritted teeth as I'm investigating the latest case of Who-Hit-Who-First and I know I'm being lied to. That's where you pull out the classic, "You know, if you hit someone, you will be in trouble because that's not okay. But if you hit someone and then lie about it AND I find out, which I will, then you'll be in more trouble and have lost my trust." Yea, that speech is an oldie but a goodie.
I'm just going to come out and say it. Just like that.
I'm not teaching this year.
There. I said it. Do you hate me? Am I still in trouble? (If I was I ever in trouble to begin with?)
But know this. I am a teacher. (Let me say that again, a little bit louder now.) I. Am. A. Teacher. (I feel a little like I should be ripping apart my break away shirt to reveal a fabulous super hero outfit with a giant T for Teacher in a bold red on my chest. Very Wonder Woman. And very fabulous.) I will always be a teacher. And I have every intention of teaching again. Every. Intention.
Let me explain my decision because it's not just about the book. (What book you ask? Why click here and see for yourself!) (Dazzling smile.)
I had decided some time ago, before the book came out...and really if I'm honest, before the book was even a possibility, that perhaps it was time for me to move on. You see, I learned a tremendous amount at my old school and met some amazing people. Honestly. I just didn't blog about all that as often because, well, it wasn't that funny. Just fabulous. And then of course, there were my friends, or as I like to call them The Biggest Reasons I Stayed. But despite all the fabulousness, all the learning and all my friends I could feel myself getting angry, frustrated and just blah. (There's a concise word for you.) Because all the other stuff that I blogged about did happen and I was terrified that I would turn into a bitter, angry teacher. Actually, starting the blog helped me to stay longer and learn even more. It was a way for me to vent, to get it out and to refrain from poking myself in the eye. Clearly, I am struggling for words to express myself, but there was just this feeling - perhaps some of you know what I am talking about - that it was time to go.
ALSO....because as always my reasoning is multi-faceted and long winded....Mr. Mimi and I thought we were moving. How could I start a school year, meet all those little friends and then leave them? I knew I couldn't do that.
AND THEN....yes, there's more...I'm also in graduate school pursuing my doctorate. (Very fancy pants, I know. Lots of suede elbow patches and Victrola playing in my house.) (Not really.) (More like lots of staying in my pajamas all weekend desperately trying to complete all my coursework with occasional bursts of Jay Z inspired dance parties to celebrate the completion of a chapter.) (Again, it's all about honesty today, isn't it?) I am officially in the home stretch or at least that's what I'm telling myself. I am fortunate enough to be able to take a year (and my book advance) away from the classroom to focus and finish. And people, I NEED to finish. Mr. Mimi NEEDS me to finish. My sanity NEEDS me to finish...
OH RIGHT...the book. There was that too. I have created some rather colorful characters. And as I've said before, I've only ever shown one side to these characters...the side I think you'll think is funny. Sure, I've taken a few liberties here and there to make things funnier because I know at the end of a hard day, we can all use a good laugh. My intention was always to mock the system, the ridiculousness, the drama that plagues us all (no matter where we teach) and not the individual people. But I know some feelings have been hurt - word gets around pretty fast, you know. And for that I'm sorry. And please don't hit me. In fact, I considered titling this post "Can't We All Just Get Along?" because I'm quickly finding out that the answer is no. No, we can't. Not all the time.
So there you have it. It's all out in the open and I hope I haven't let you down. I do intend to continue blogging. Let me say that again. I WILL KEEP BLOGGING! My readers and commenters and emailers (I'm a writer now, I can make up words from time to time.) have been amazing, have kept me going and have inspired me to continue to speak up for teachers everywhere using my own experiences. Hearing your stories and words of encouragement have made me realize that I wasn't alone. And, perhaps sadly, that some of the problems I was facing weren't just problems I was having because sometimes I can have a bad attitude (it's true) but rather they were problems that plague many schools. (This would be another cool place for me to rip away clothes and show off my super hero costume. Really, that's a great way to punctuate a speech. Note to self - find seamstress who is able to work with spandex.)
I knew this day was coming, so I saved a ton of juicy fun stories off to the side just to tide us all over. Hilarity still to come! And now that my secret is out, probably more regularly! (Oh, and don't worry, I won't start posting about my cat, what I had for dinner or that lady who took the last bunch of flowers from my favorite guy at the farmer's market.) (Unless you really want me to and even then, I'm still not sure how I feel about that.)
OOo...and as a bonus side project (because I am the Queen of taking on more and more and more until my plate is officially at capacity) I am working on developing a Mrs. Mimi website for teachers. Very Mrs. Mimi, very informational, very fabulous. Seriously, it will become the place you go for teaching, learning, sharing and feeling fabulous. FABULOUS. I will keep you posted on this development for sure. Watch out internet, here I come!
Let me wrap this up (I KNOW! Finally, right?) by saying that I AM A TEACHER and I love all my Super Colleagues - those with whom I've worked and all of you out there who I write for. (Pretty sure that sentence could have been structured better...shouldn't end with "for". Let's see - those with whom I've worked and all of you out there for whom I write. There, that's better.) I WILL TEACH AGAIN - Mrs. Mimi is no quitter and I have no intention of quitting all of you.
Blog, I just can't seem to quit you.
(Okay, taking a deep breath and hitting "Publish Post" Don't quit me. Or hit me for that matter.)