When I became a teacher, I thought I would teach for only one year. One year became twelve. At the end of this school year, I will officially close out my tenure as a professional educator. This fall, I will be enrolled full-time at Texas A&M University in College Station, working on my Master's Degree in Human Resource Management. The program is three semesters, and I'm slated to graduate in December 2019.
I've been getting a LOT of questions about my decision, so I thought the best way would be to address some of them here.
Why am I leaving and why human resources?
For years I have thought about getting a degree that would have me transition to the corporate world. In fact, it is rare that I read a history book, but I am always reading business or business psychology books. My library is riddled with the works of Daniel Pink, Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell, etc.
It is daunting to leave an established profession, and I felt that my skillset in education most aligns with a career in HR and this transition would be somewhat easier.
To be honest, I don't know if I will love HR, but I do know that I strive to be excellent in all my endeavors. Like every profession, there will be things that I love and hate about my work, but I am ready to be challenged in a new way.
On the more practical side, I am at the top end of a profession that has low-pay and terrible benefits. I also work in an area where the cost of living is increasing much faster than my wages. Instead of working the four different side-hustles I have going (consulting, coaching, tutoring, curriculum design), I would just like to work on one job. In the corporate world, my starting salary will be where my current salary sits. To make more money in education, I would need to leave the classroom to become a full-time administrator and administrators deal with the parts of the job I hate the most.
The timing for me getting into the HR Management program couldn't be better. I'm leaving my field at the height of my experience. This has been a fantastic year teaching, and I've been lucky to get to work with a fabulous co-teacher, I have a great group of students, and my Academic Decathlon team had its highest performing season.
I really am walking away at a beautiful moment as difficult as it is to say goodbye.
What will I miss the most?
First and foremost, it is the kids. One of the primary reasons I became a teacher, was because I couldn't have children of my own and I wanted to have some influence on the next generation. My students inspire, challenge and frustrate me--but ultimately they have taught me more about myself than anything I've ever done before.
Every experience, every country, every new person I have met since 2006 I have asked myself, how can I use this experience with my students. It will be weird to learn further information without the end game of transferring that knowledge to my students.
Not too far behind the students, I will miss my colleagues. They have helped keep me sane and inspired me by their teaching and their devotion to the students. They are incredible people. The state of education in our country might be in a state of crisis, but I have every confidence in the people currently working in education, and I will continue to passionately fight for public school educators and for my dear friends who are fighting the good fight in the classroom every single day.
The hardest part of all this is not just saying goodbye to my current group of students, but I'm also saying goodbye to all the students that I'll never get to teach.
To all my current and former students, thank you. You changed my life, and I will never forget you.
My teaching career in numbers:
- Five high schools (One new school opened)
- Two different school districts (Clark County & Frisco)
- Five principals (Seven appraisers)
- Four different grade levels
- Three Certifications (National Board Teaching Certification, Social Studies Composite in both Texas and Nevada)
- One Master's Degree (MEd in Curriculum and Instruction)
- 17 different classes taught (U.S. History, Broadcast Journalism I, II, & III, Publications, Yearbook, AP World History, World History, Honors World History, Honors Government, AVID, AP Human Geography, World Geography, AP U.S. History, Gifted & Talented Humanities, Academic Decathlon, Sociology)
- Taught approximately 2000 students
- Leadership roles: Department Head and Instructional Coach
- Eight clubs Sponsored
- Hundreds of hours of Professional Development I've both presented and attended
- Coached two successful Academic Decathlon teams to State competition
- Awarded study fellowships and study tours to Turkey, Germany, Jordan, U.A.E., and Oman
- 2018 Finalist for Reedy High School Teacher of the Year