Starting this fall, I'm going to be teaching part time! I have decided to job share with my dear friend Amy, which means we will share the responsibilities of teaching one class of 4th graders. My work week will go from Thursday through Wednesday, so I'll teach Thursday, Friday, have a weekend, teach Monday through Wednesday, and then (here's the best part) I'll have a week off!
I am very excited about this big change! It is a risky move, since if I decide to go back to full time at some point in the future, I just have to take whatever position is available (i.e. I may have to change grade levels or move to a different school). Plus, you know, if you only work half the time, they'll only pay you half your salary.
Yes, it's a drastic budget change, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Currently, my highest commodity is my time. I often pay someone else or pay extra to save myself time. Next year, I'll have time to be able to save money. You know what I mean?
Now, here are simple answers to the two questions I know you're just dying to ask:
Why are you doing this?
Well, here's the thing. I never planned or wanted a 9 year teaching career. But that's what I've got. And it has been wonderful, and I am OFTEN amazed by the grace and blessings that God gives me through teaching. Which is why I'm so thankful that I get to keep working with kids on a part time basis. But, I also have many other interests and desires, and I need some space in my life to let myself dream and breath a little. Summer breaks are awesome, but the remaining part of my year is just nutty. As a full time teacher, I find myself stuck in the cycle of "I'm crazy busy and emotionally and physically tired for most of the year, then I have a few weeks to recover, then I'm right back to the insanity". So, I'm popping myself out of that cycle, in hopes that I can find more balance throughout my year.
What are you going to do with all your extra time?
I'm not really sure yet. One of my rules for myself is 'Don't make big decisions when you're tired' and since the school year is still going strong, guess what? I'm tired. So, I'm waiting until summer to make decisions about my free time. Here are some things I'd like to do more of: writing, sleeping, reading, working out, using coupons (I'm a dork), homemaking, meeting with friends, visiting my parents and grandparents, and creating...who knows what. Doesn't that sound lovely? I will need some part time work, so I'm exploring some options, but not committing to anything yet. I'll have more time to have dinner with fun people (and I won't have any money for food!), so feel free to invite me over! =o)
I just recently saw the Disney movie Tangled for the first time, and I connected with the main character, Rapunzel, more than is probably normal. One scene in particular beautifully captures how my heart is doing these days as I process how my decision to leave full time teaching will affect my life. Rapunzel has just left her tower for the first time ever, and she's dealing with the ups and downs of her big decision. Sidenote: Rapunzel is worried about how her mom will be angry about the decision- I do not relate to this piece of her story. Both of my parents are super supportive of what I'm doing!
I would appreciate prayer for the road that lays before me- may God give me wisdom and creativity with the time that I'll have available to me. And hopefully, if you ask me how I'm doing, I'll be able to say, "BEST DAY EVER!"