Hello friends, this is for you.
Thank you for thinking of me. 🙂
I always thought I would be teaching for at least 10 years. That’s how I saw myself when I started. Teaching was right for me. It wasn’t desk-bound, but structured enough yet different every day. In summary, it is not going to be anywhere near boring.
Don’t get me wrong, I did not expect it to be smooth sailing.
I honestly felt burnt out most during my second year of teaching. It was tough playing catch-up, running an uphill race. I remember waking up every morning feeling more tired than the day before. I was ‘surviving‘ on 4 hours of sleep, living only for the weekends. I woke up every Sunday with dread for the coming Monday, willing myself to sit in front of the laptop, churning lesson plans, teaching resources and clearing other administrative work while trying not to think about the stack of marking I brought home that’s still left untouched. Part of me felt like a machine, numb and thoughtless. Execute command – DO. After all that, on Sunday nights, I would refuse to sleep because sleep accelerates time and Sunday turns into Monday twice as fast. That’s the truth.
But it did get easier. It eased out because I learned the way things work. Processes came to mind more easily, I became more fluent in teaching and all the other administrative non-teaching related work. Resources created had accumulated and I did not have to start from scratch. These built up incrementally to a point where I felt human enough, mostly. I mean let’s be honest, some days will still feel like the A&E department, and we will be doing triage. Otherwise, all’s good. I can’t say that for everyone, but at least for me it felt that way.
My decision to leave was not made in haste.
Here’s what I make of all my thoughts, redrafted at least a dozen times from having to explain myself to myself, and others. It was not a decision made out of exhaustion or exasperation. (Side note: My pride will never allow me to leave because of my inability to cope. I don’t like to lose.)
I believe that like marriage, teaching is a commitment, sans banquet & BTO. 😀 I am just that girlfriend who’s not ready to settle down. I have yet to experience the rest of the world. I had the good guy, but I want to experience the bad boys and some heartbreaks because that defiant part of myself wants a different challenge.
But more than that, all my life, I’ve been in school. Primary, Secondary, Junior College, University. Then I graduate and go back to school standing on the other more privileged side of the classroom. It’s like a cycle. After a while, I felt like a frog in a well. That sky I see when I look up is such a tiny fraction of the entire world. I’m too sheltered.
So to quote my friend and desk partner, if I remember it right:
“Okay Jane, you’re saying it’s too nice and comfortable here so you want to go out there and kena lah… Okay…”
Well, if it has to be put that way… 😅 So I decided that I needed to get out there to find out what it’s like for myself. You know, Vygotsky’s ZoPD. I want to see what else I can do. I want to stretch myself. I don’t want to live my entire life asking myself what if. It’s like living life with no closure. I don’t do well with cliffhangers. In a sense, I came in at the wrong time, when I wasn’t ready to settle.
I’m sure it might sound naive and foolish on some level, but I think I can live with a few scars here and there. Scars are a sign of great battles won. I will wear them proudly.
That’s it. I left on good terms with the profession. Honestly, I still love it. I miss my kids. I miss my netballers. I miss my colleagues. Heck I even miss preparing teaching resources. (I know, you’re like You’re too free huh, I give you mine to do, can? Hahaha…)
My current situation.
I’m a bit of a curious creature. I’ve always want to learn new things. This year I hope to learn at least 1 new language. Well enough to speak and read. I’m taking courses online, I have new found interest in start-ups and I hope I get to work in one. Southeast Asia is on the cusp of some unprecedented golden era of change with disruptive innovations and technologies entering. I am very, very excited to be available in this era, at this time.
I haven’t gotten a job yet but I’ll keep the blog updated.
So hello friends, I’m good, and adventure awaits me. How are you? Let’s always keep in touch.