I've been thinking about making a change for a few years, but loved my school community and my job too much to take the plunge. Then, this school year in particular, I was struggling with my oldest son (who now will be receiving services as a preschooler with Autism) and a new baby, all while managing the weight of all of my students' worries, crises, and heartbreaks. I realized that I had to make a difficult decision in order to be the best mom and educator; I needed to step back and focus on a smaller number of students, as opposed to a whole building.
Once the thought popped into my head, I felt sick to my stomach. I consulted with fellow school counselors, had heart-to-hearts with current teachers, and weighed the pros and cons with my supportive husband more times that I can count. At transfer day, I walked in feeling as if I would faint and throw up (in no particular order), knowing that I was about to make a huge, life-changing decision - a decision that I couldn't simply "take back" if I changed my mind. When my name was called, I bid on a First Grade teaching position and well, that was that. The other staff members in the room saw me crying and I'm sure they were thinking, Girl, you got what you wanted. Why are you so upset? Well, to be honest, I was upset for many reasons, but mostly because I wasn't leaving my position because I hated the people or because I had a conflict I needed to run from. I was leaving because I wanted to make sure I took care of my own health in order to best take care of my family and my students.
While I'm beyond ecstatic to start my teaching career (and yes, I'm not naïve and know this will be stressful too), the thought of someone else in MY office, changing MY program, working with MY students is heartbreaking. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but it's true. It's like I broke up with my job, but I'm mad they started dating again. That's not fair, but that's how I feel. I can't have my cake and eat it too, but I wannnnnnnnna.
So, now to what happens to my beloved website. I will absolutely be keeping this website up and running and, when appropriate, will still share ideas that connect with school counseling. I may not be actively working as a school counselor, but I'm still licensed and more importantly, my heart and mind still feel "school counselory." I just can't give up a part of who I am. Not possible.
To all of you who are in similar stages of your career, please don't take my transition into the classroom as a sign of defeat, like the profession is just too much for anyone to handle. Of course school counseling is a tremendously challenging job, but it's amazing too. I think my personal life made it difficult to do everything I was used to doing as a school counselor - it's hard worrying about your child and managing their unique needs, while also being the go-to person for everyone else's struggles.
Thank you for your kindness and support! I'll still be here to cheer on and advocate for the best profession in the world! :)