Monday, January 03, 2011

I'm done. It's official.

Pushing to the Winter Break is always a challenge at school. The moodiness. The excitement. The full moon and lunar eclipse, concurrent with a snowstorm and other mood-altering atmospheric conditions -- well, I can just say the last week of school in 2010 was more of a challenge than usual.

But I'm done. I survived. It's over.

It's more than over, though. I'm done - for the year. Not just 2010, but the full 2010-2011 school year. I'm taking a leave of absence from my teaching job from now until June.

Illness made teaching tough this year. Gout, flu-like virus, even the possibility of heart trouble had me missing more days than I wanted.

But more than that, school has been a struggle: a struggle that was making me sicker. I didn't sleep well at night. Worries kept me awake, and when sleep did come, I'd awaken in a head to toe sweat. Stomach aches every Monday morning, heartburn and headaches Sunday nights, there were too many symptoms to ignore.

There were tipping points. Getting hurt while preventing a student from throwing a chair. Getting threatened by a student and seeing no administrative response whatsoever. Spending time late at night to leave decent sub plans - against the doctor's advice - only to get all kinds of nasty notes about how my work hadn't been sufficient.

Between me, the doctor, and my family, we decided it was time: time to look into a long-term leave. A time to recover, to heal, both physically and mentally. A time to really examine my commitment to teaching and whether it can weather this kind of conflict. Before I make any kind of decision on my future, I need to rest. Rest, recover, and feel good again -- even on Mondays.

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Anonymous Jen on the Edge said...

I know that must have been a difficult decision to make, but it sounds like it was the right one. I hope you heal quickly this winter and that you find the answers you seek.


1/03/2011 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My very best to you. A wise decision on your part. Your comments regarding the environment you were in make me wonder how you did your job.

1/03/2011 8:20 AM  
Blogger Kristin @ Going Country said...

I thought it might have been a health-related leave of absence you were alluding to, but it sounds like much more than that. Yikes.

Enjoy your recovery time.

1/03/2011 9:18 AM  
Anonymous On a limb with Claudia said...

I'm so proud of you for taking care of yourself!! Now is a time for rest and detox. Good for you for being brave enough to embrace the necessary uncertain.

1/03/2011 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you find clarity so you can make the decisions you need to for your health and your family. Hugs and prayers to all of you.

1/03/2011 11:16 AM  
Blogger Earth Muffin said...

Mental health is as important as physical health. I'm sure your decision was a difficult one to make, you're very dedicated to your students. However, it seems you've done the right thing. Good for you! It's time to put Daisy "first" for a while!

1/03/2011 3:28 PM  
Blogger jean said...

Good for you. I think it is a great choice. Sometimes you need to step back and take some time off.

1/03/2011 6:13 PM  
Blogger Judy Jeute said...

Although I am proud of you for taking care of you, I am also quite proud of you for taking a stand and letting it be known that work conditions like that are not tolerable. You are making a difference for others as well. Albeit temporary (?), it's their loss.

1/04/2011 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm cheering for YOU! What a good thing you're doing for yourself and your family. Nothing like space so you can focus and heal.

1/04/2011 12:28 PM  
Blogger Flea said...

I am so proud of you. I quit my job at the psychiatric hospital a year ago not because of mental health, but physical health. I'd only worked there a couple of years, but it was still a tough decision. And the best decision I'd made in a long time. Hard at first, but better with every week that passed.

I'm hoping you find freedom, both mentally and physically, as time passes.

1/10/2011 3:15 PM  

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