First, we do not have any family here where we live (closest is about an hour away), and so when my husband travels out of town or somthing happens, it falls all on me which means my job suffers. It also means that I am totally stressed out and exhausted. Last week was my last test before making my final decision (husband was in Switzerland), and I truly felt like I was barely making it, especially with a baby who has had an ear infection now for 2 solid weeks (not to mention all the other stuff she's had since December). I am sick this week because of all the stress last week I think. My job is important to me, and my students deserve the best I can give them, and right now it seems neither my students or my children are getting anything close to my best. I hope people who are blessed enough to live near their parents or other family know just how lucky they are.
Secondly, my son will be starting kindergarden next year and won't be in the district in which I teach which means his days off are different in many cases than my days off. While my husband will help by taking days off, I can't be sure he will be in town when I need that kind of help. And with only 5 sick days per year, I would use those up pretty fast. As it is I'm almost out this year which means I don't really have time for me to ever get sick. I also want to be able to participate at my son's school when I can. A regular teaching job does not allow that.
Last but not least, the third baby really increased the laundry, cooking, errands, doctor visits, and just general Mom duties. I am so tired from my job that the house is suffering, and I just can't keep up with everything right now. Teaching is on of the hardest jobs there is - especially teaching at an at-risk campus (see pevious post about what at-risk means). We are like 2nd parents to the kids oftentimes, and it requires an unbelievable amount of energy and effort that I just can't give right now. They deserve the best from their teachers, and I don't like not being able to do my job at my best.
Like I said, I am planning to continue working through subbing and science tutoring, and there is always a need for qualified people. One of the hardest things about leaving is that my school is small and we are like a little family. Having moved here and knowing no one, it has been one of the sources of my friends and adult interaction, and I will miss that terribly. But, hopefully I can be at my school enough to see everyone. And, I know I will be less stressed because my schedule will be so flexible that it will allow my kids' stuff to come first.
I know it is the right choice, and I feel good about it. However, that does not mean it will be easy for me. I had to tell everyone yestrday, and that was hard. The choice is real now, but it does feel like a weight lifted off. No more grades, no more calling parents, no more endless documentation and lesson plans (well, after the end of the year - it's a long 6 weeks ahead!). Please don't get me wrong - I LOVE teaching, and I LOVE LOVE my current job, but I just can't do it all well right now. My kids need to be my priority without anything else in the way, and I will definitely go back when the time is right.
So, I'll be entering a new chapter, and hopefully will have lots to wr