Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I gave up my job


It has been five months since I started maternity leave but the reality of it really hit home today. I was a high school teacher (note the use of past tense), actually I was a great high school teacher. I gave teaching my all working long hours to create exciting curriculum. Constantly thinking about how to energize and inspire my students. I liked my colleagues and I liked my students, I looked forward to seeing them each day. I found great satisfaction in discussing curriculum ideas with my department head. I loved the high that came with teaching a good class. I like to think that I was not easily replaceable, I like to think that my students and my boss miss me.

I opted to give this up to become a fulltime mum. I did this because i believe whole heartedly in the benefits of breastfeeding and I believe that my daughter needs me fulltime. I was actually so aware that giving up work would be difficult that I gave it up early so I would have plenty of time to adjust before the baby was born. I talked about this a lot with my midwife. I thought it was all fine.

However today I realized that in taking extended maternity leave I really did give it all up. Those are no longer my students excited that I was their teacher. The curriculum was no longer my concern. The senior subject that I had spent my entire career designing was no longer any of my business.

This all occurred to me because I am planning to drop into the school tomorrow and i realised just how much i feel like it is not my school anymore. I was so good at it but there is no room for me to be a teacher if I want to be a mum. I guess I am a little be jealous of the people who took over my roles. It does not seem just. I designed that unit, I had the vision for what it should be, I was the expert, I still want to be involved. Those students are mine, I instilled in them a passion for the subject, I worked hard to make them better than all the rest, I want to see them through.
I cannot do any of this because I have a beautiful daughter who needs me. I want to be there for my daughter far and above my desire to continue with my job. I just wish it did not have to be so black and white.

Tomorrow I will be a stranger in a place where I was a star... I want to keep writing about how things need to change more, how things should be, but I am tired and can only fight so many battles. This one will have to be fought by someone else.

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