Today was my last day at work.
....Okay, so technically tomorrow is my last official day at work, and our contracts say we work until June 15th, but really, today was my last day......
I was, surprisingly, sad.
Sad because I've really come to love most of the kids there, and I've really enjoyed watching them grow into more mature, intelligent human beings.
Sad because I really enjoy working with kids in general, and now...?
Sad because I kept my decision to leave a secret from the kids because I didn't want to/couldn't deal with all the questions.
Sad because I truly enjoy what I do, but financially we can't afford for me to work there anymore. (Unless, of course, they're going to pay me my 5 day salary + benefits for the 2 days of work they can offer me.)
Sad because I have to leave my work friends.
Sad because, even though I have my complaints about certain members of the teaching staff (99.9% is not at all related to what happens in their classrooms), I really believe it's one of the best groups of educators I have ever witnessed, and I'm blessed to have been among them.
Sad because--even though teachers aren't really supposed to--I'm going to miss my favorite students so much. I've watched them grow and learn, and now I feel like I'm reading a wonderful novel, only to realize the last 3 chapters are missing. "WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO THESE CHARACTERS! AAAAAAAH!!!"
I really wish there was a way I could continue to work there and work with the kids, but not have to deal with any of the other b.s. that goes on.
And you know, even though I'm sad, I'm NOT going to miss a lot of the garbage I've had to put up with, especially over the last 2 years. I'm not going to miss that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I walk into certain areas of the building.
I won't miss working hard, only to have initiatives stomped all over, good ideas put on the back burner and then usurped by other employees there (case in point: playground), and I won't miss my work being either ignored or criticized--a factor that wouldn't bother me if all my hard work was completely ignored and criticized, instead it's ignored and criticized until another staff member brings the same ideas to the table and it's suddenly a work of genius. (Case in point: Facebook networking. At one point, I thought for sure I was going to be fired for it.)
I won't miss having too much to do or not enough to do on any given day.
I won't miss being spoken to as though I am mentally challenged when I'm the one who can spell.
I won't miss feeling like my boss doesn't have any faith in me or my work.
I won't miss being looked down upon by coworkers because I'm young, relatively inexperienced, and honest.
I won't miss having to pick up the pieces left behind by people who can't or won't delegate.
I won't miss sharing a job description with 2 other people, thus leaving plenty of work undone and the same job done 15 times.
I won't miss having to defend the art and process of relationship building to people who are all about the bottom line.
I won't miss
I won't miss the stress. I won't miss coming home exhausted and pissed off. I won't miss staff morale being low and I won't miss having just an hour or two to spend with Hannah before she goes to bed. I won't miss coming home feeling attacked, belittled, and completely incompetent. Last year, I think I came home crying almost everyday in the spring. This year, I was too tired and mad to cry.
Next year will be interesting there, that's for sure. The current principal is leaving her post for another and has been replaced by a young woman who I know from high school. Alphabetically, she graduated just a few moments before I did. The time is right for me to leave--the stress level there has never been higher, and with major changes in the administration and curriculum, it's better to leave now than be cut later. If I had to guess, I'd say the new principal is going to make cuts where cuts need to be made, whereas the current principal wants to save the staff not only because we need aids and whatnot in classrooms, but because she wants to save the people.
Oh well. What's done is done. My resignation is turned in and I'm going to be looking for gainful employment until my paychecks run out.