Necessary change.

I've taken a summer hiatus from blogging, as travel and freelance work have consumed my free time {in a good way}.

It breaks my heart a little, reading the last post I wrote: honest, raw. Pouring my life and heart into education for these past three years has been beautiful, yet emotional in so many ways. For so long I thought that my calling was to be a teacher. I was good at it, but more importantly, I loved the students who challenged me to grow each day. 

Sadly, yet full of hope, that chapter of my life is coming to a close. 

_____________________

I had to be honest with myself this summer and determine what it was I wanted in life, and what I wanted to see that I had worked so hard for. The honest truth is that Oregon's educational budget situation and the way that teachers' jobs are retained is broken. The fact that someone's career and livelihood could come down to nothing more than a hire date is broken; that budget relief could be felt in bigger class sizes and pay deductions for teachers who already work above and beyond their call of duty on a daily basis is broken. While I loved being a teacher, public education and policy is just not something that I can be ping-ponged around in anymore. At twenty-eight years old and with two degrees I supported myself to attain because of my professional dreams, a half-time position and pay reductions with increased class sizes and decreased funding priorities is not something I can compromise on anymore. 

So I'm stepping away, likely, for good. I'm confident that my abilities and talents that God has given me will benefit an organization that appreciates the work that I do and what I have to give, and that I won't have to wonder every February: am I going to have a job next year? 

I can't keep putting off life, wondering if I'm going to have a job or wondering how I'm going to make ends meet with a pay reduction and hours reduction-- especially being married to a teacher enduring the same obstacles as well. 

Public education is broken, and change needs to happen. 

I hope that as I move on in my career, I can still be an advocate for that change, but emotionally, financially and otherwise, I can't stick around to wait and see what happens. It's sad. Disappointing. Discouraging. 

Our kids deserve better than tenure status, bigger class sizes and underfunded programs, and I hope and pray those changes occur sooner rather than later. 

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to new change... positive change; an opportunity for growth, for investment in something bigger and to spend my free time volunteering, staying connected to education on the sidelines, and cheering on my husband as he stays low in the trenches. 

Wish me luck. :)




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