Just you wait, Henry Higgins. Just you wait.

I haven’t written anything in a while. I just haven’t been feeling well…or feeling like writing. It’s not an excuse…it just is.
Monday starts my last two weeks in my classroom. While I’m sad to say goodbye to my babies, I’ve never been happier to leave a job in my life. And that’s saying something. I used to run the nursing department of a home health care company. Every day on the way to work I would fantasize about being in an accident. Not enough to be hurt, enough to not make it to work.
It’s not the kids, I adore them. Even the ones I don’t actually like. It’s the way the administrators (None of which have any early childhood experience.) never bother to ask the most important question.
What’s best for children?

I ask that question every single day. And I do my damnedest to answer it.

It disgusts me that they are treated like chattel with dollar signs on their chests. Is that what’s best for children?
If parents knew how decisions regarding their children’s care and education were being arbitrarily decided would that be acceptable?
But some parents don’t care. Their careers, their lives are more important to them and they’re content to believe the hype as long as someone looks after their children all day long.

No one gives a damn about emergent curriculum. Or learning through play. Or brain development.
Is that what’s best for children?

I’ve never been truly satisfied at this school. I’ve had moments of great joy. But I’ve always known it fit me ill.
It’s made me question my passion for early childhood education. It’s made me question my love for young children. I’ve been wrestling with “hanging up my spurs” for quite some time. It fascinates me that something beyond my control made the decision for me. Is the stress from this job really creating the sickness in my brain?

Perhaps I’m just a whiny crybaby? Perhaps I’m just lazy? Perhaps I simply don’t want to have to go to work everyday?
I’ve asked myself these questions. With the exception of the first one, the answer is no. (The answer to the first question is: occasionally.)

It’s occurring to me as I write this that as bad as that other job was, this one goes against my personal beliefs. That just might be why it feels so much worse. I care so passionately about young children and their beginning education that I absolutely cannot participate in the degradation of the most important time in a person’s life.
From zero to five years is when everything we need for our entire lives starts being built.

I was discussing with a couple we know, the brain situation and leaving my job under medical advice. The husband (Who is an engineer.) said something to the effect of: But all jobs are stressful. The wife (Who is a teacher at an elementary school.) replied something to the effect of: Teaching is so stressful. It’s not like other jobs. You can turn your brain off occasionally while you’re working. But we never can.
I agreed and said: I am almost constantly engaged with my kids. My brain works even harder than my body does. When a child comes to me with a question or is excited about an accomplishment, I have to be ready to go! I have to give that child my undivided attention while being completely aware of the others.

Most people have no real understanding of what early childhood educators do. It’s not quantifiable but it lays the foundation for every single moment of learning.

I’m going to step down off my soapbox.
I’m going to enjoy the last two weeks with my babies before they move into the “junior kindergarten program”.
I’m going to walk away with my head held high.

It occurs to me in this moment that I haven’t been writing because I was filled with all this poison. It was making me fell unwell. It was making me cranky.
Well, I’ve just spewed the poison it onto this page and I actually feel a great deal better.

Am I crazy?
Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
Are personal beliefs and principles so sacred that to go against them makes one ill?
Don’t we skew our principles a teeny bit just to make it through each day?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy…

I am going to take time in September and October to heal my brain. (I’m extremely stubborn so I plan to do that through the sheer force of my will.) I’ll take that time to finish wedding planning. I’ll spend a good deal of that time with my own precious Thing 2.
And when YBW and I come home from our honeymoon, I’ll find a new job. One that suits me and that I suit.

I’m reminded a little bit of Eliza Doolittle: Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins. Just you wait.
My brain is Professor Higgins. Life is Professor Higgins. And just like Eliza Doolittle, I plan to show my brain and the world what’s up!

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Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Just you wait, Henry Higgins. Just you wait.

  1. We may have gone down this road (conversation about our similar paths in Life šŸ™‚ ) but I taught my last 9 years from 1999 until 2008 as an early childhood intervention specialist or what also could be termed preschool integrated setting with 8 special needs children and 4 typically developing children in am and pm classes. I feel so connected with how you expressed this post!!
    My choice was to go online, to a diploma mill or get my Master’s from a fine uniiversty. I chose the latter and hardest path.
    The NCLB law said have a master’s in what you were currently teaching and I began an uphill road, working 5 days a week as a teacher, then 4 nights a week as a server at Cracker Barrel. As this unfolded, my ex husband lost (was downsized) his professional job. He sat on a chair thinking his 60% unemployment check was “doing it to the company. ” Meaning I was left treading water with bills, his car was replaced, etc.
    Leaving teaching with only 3 courses left but were day time hours, which I did not have money for a sabbatical. This was hard but also, a few months down the road, divorce and loss of home, I felt a sense of relief.
    I wish you joy in your decision and hope that big sigh of relief will come. šŸ™‚ Hugs, Robin

    • Your words bring me comfort and I thank you for your hugs, Robin. šŸ™‚
      I appreciate you sharing your story. I find it helpful to know that it’s “not just me”. ā¤

  2. The fact that you care passionately about young children makes you very valuable in the early childhood education field. I can totally relate to what you’re saying and have experienced it myself! I wish you the best as you sort out what lies ahead for you.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your support.
      I’m excited and nervous about leaving a job without one to walk in to…but I’m honestly just so relieved to be leaving that I’ll let the chips fall where they may.
      I don’t think I realized how much these feelings had backed up on me.

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