Sometimes I hate my job and that’s okay.

I am a teacher, a high school English teacher to be more specific, but that isn’t really important. As a teacher, I am surrounded by many fellow teachers: the teacher friends I work with, the teacher friends I used to work with, the teacher friends I’ve made through Pinterest, the teacher friends in my education program in college, the friends of mine who have also become teachers, and the list goes on.

This means that I am surrounded by the social media posts of teachers, which is usually a GREAT thing. The sharing of rough days, the sharing of funny moments, general encouragement, and more. However, there is a downside to this. (Disclaimer: This downside has NOTHING to do with any of my fellow teachers. It is purely a reaction on my part.) Occasionally, I feel as if my teacher friends like their jobs more than I do and that makes me question my career choice, simply because I see statuses about how much they love teaching or how many lives they’re changing.

There is nothing wrong with loving to teach or changing lives. I’m a firm believer in the empowering nature of education, and I am innately passionate about the importance of what I do.

But here’s the truth, folks: Some days, I hate my job. Sometimes, I come home exhausted after a particularly trying day with students. Sometimes, I come home bothered by things I can’t control, wondering when I will have time to get to the all-important teaching part of my job. Sometimes, I come home wanting to cry (or actually crying) for my students or sometimes because of them. There are days when I want to quit my job and go work at McDonald’s (last Thursday, for example). There are days when I wonder, “Why on earth am I doing this to myself?”

For a long time, I thought that was terrible–that this meant I am in the wrong profession. Adages like “Find a job you’ll love and you’ll never work a day in your life” certainly don’t help. I’ve decided this just isn’t true (at least not for me). No matter what job a person has, I really believe that there will always be bad days–days that feel like work.

Overall, I really do enjoy teaching. I’m still learning how to be good at it and I’m getting better each day. I like my colleagues; I like my school; I really do like my students. Most days, I like everything about what I do. But there are some days that are just harder than others. On those days when I find myself wishing I had chosen a different field, I always end up asking myself this question: “If I weren’t teaching, what would I be doing?”

I have yet to come up with an answer to that question. I really that that says it all.

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The end of a chapter

For those of you who don’t know this about me, I tend to put off dealing with my emotions. For those of you who have never been in the education profession, the end of the school year is a perfect time to have an excuse to put off dealing with emotions. Therefore, a lot of emotions from the last few weeks–even months–have hit me today.

Today marks my very last day at Anderson County High School. I just turned in my end-of-the-year checklist, and I’ve spent the day packing up my classroom. I’ve known this day was coming for a while, but it didn’t really hit me until today. Yes, I’ve been counting down and excited for the end of school, but today I also realize that this day means I will not be coming back. Today has been full of the tears that I haven’t dealt with in the days leading up to it. Packing everything up has a certain finality. Saying goodbye–something I’ve never really been good at–definitely makes things final. It has been a day of boxes–for packing up belongings and for pulling tissues from to clean up after teary hugs.

As I look around these walls for close to the last time, I realize that this classroom will always be special to me. It was the first classroom that was mine. And for the past two years, this school has been my home. I can’t imagine a more supportive and wonderful place in which to begin my teaching career. I will miss all of the people here–my terrific colleagues, and yes, even the students.

Today is the definition of bittersweet though, as while I’m sad to leave, I am also excited about where I’m going. This is the end of one truly monumental chapter in my life, but also the start of a whole new chapter to explore. I am so excited to be marrying Stephen in just over 6 weeks (!!!) and to be moving to Atlanta to start this journey with him.

So, I guess today is the first day of transition that I will experience this summer. Between moving, marriage, and a new career, it is hardly the last. But today, I will cherish all of the emotions I’m feeling: the sadness at leaving a place I love, the happiness for the future, and the gratitude to have had this experience.