A Tough, Wise Decision
Last December, I quit my job, and my career.
I was a high school band director.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Ever. I loved my who I worked with, but not who I worked for. I loved the kids, even the knuckleheads. One day my husband and his coworkers sat me down and had a little ‘intervention.’ I was miserable, and refused to admit it. I kept making excuses, and telling myself “next school year will be better,” when in fact, it kept getting worse. “I just want my wife back.” Said my husband. I lost it.
I wasn’t a bad teacher. I had excellent evaluations every year. My district supervisor kept putting me in bad situations until I finally broke. I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t worth it on a teacher’s salary. It wasn’t worth it on ANY salary.
What about all that time and effort I put into getting that Bachelor of Music in Music Education? That was probably the hardest pill for me to swallow. I averaged 20 credit hours and 12 DIFFERENT classes a semester for 5 years. Music Ed. is essentially a double major. It was time well spent. I developed a deeper appreciation for something I loved, and now that I’m not doing it every day, I can enjoy it again. I LOVE going to the ISO.
What did I learn?
- Just because it’s something you enjoy immensely, doesn’t mean that you should make a career of it. I love music. I love band. But the hoops I had to jump through and the politics and BS I had to go through to make band enjoyable for me – and more importantly – the kids was insane. It ruined it for me. And sadly, the kids too.
- The company you work for can make or break a job.
- Work/life balance is SUPER important
- How to say no with confidence
- Forcing an 18 year old to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life is silly.
- Teachers do things besides teach. They’re project managers, client success managers, problem solvers, all rolled into one person. Not to mention they have pretty much figured out how to ‘work smarter, not harder.’ They get things done with very little time and resources, and aren’t typically ‘in it for the money.’ They’re very selfless people.
- I want what I do to feel valued and needed.
- Mad props to my high school and college band directors. Their situations were better than mine, but for them to create something that so many students wanted to be a part of and enjoy takes a lot of time, effort, and selflessness. They also helped create and nurture my love of music, something I can take with me to my grave. I can only hope I did the same with my students.
The results of this decision?
- Well there’s the obvious. I don’t have a full time job, and I’m in the position now to be a little more picky about the job I will eventually take. Right now though, I have a couple kick ass part time jobs, that will hopefully lead to a kick ass full time job.
- I am no longer the shell of the person I once was.
- I inspired at least one other person I know to quit their job and find a better one.
- Some rooms in our house got painted
- My husband got his wife back