May 8, 2023


in the barn, unpacking all the stuff. 
scott had not assumed i'd be up in the loft hauling it all down again so soon. 

Next year, I will be going back into the classroom. I accepted a teaching job, locally, so I will be taking Wells with me to school each day. He'll go to kindergarten and I'll be teaching in the elementary school. Sutton gets to go too.

If you want the how, the why, and all the details of how I got from "I want to homeschool" to here, read on. If not, that's okay too. 


I do not know how it came to this point. Like, I was good with just being d-o-n-e for an amount of time. I'm legitimately just as confused as you are if you've been around these parts for awhile. You can see, in my quitting post from last year, that I had a foreshadow of what would be to come though. 

Basically, I have spent most of the last year hemming and hawing about what to do for Wells for kindergarten. I had a few options as far as I could see: 


send him to private school where he had already been going for preschool

send him to our local public school. 

The pros and cons were vast. I could've made lists all day long. 

Around the beginning of February, I got a thought in my head that I should find somewhere to teach. I didn't know what this was supposed to look like, and  I don't know where this came from. There was no lead-up to it. It just appeared in my head one day. I wasn't willing to go back to where I had been in 2021-2022 but I really felt an urge to consider going back to teaching. It was, how do you say, Put On My Heart in Christian-ese. I couldn't get rid of the feeling. 

I didn't know what this would look like, but I applied to Wells' private school since they go up to 9th grade. I had a good talk with his principal. I thought it'd be a good compromise: not working for a giant district so there would be small class sizes and less pressure, he could continue going to school there, and I just needed to figure out what to do with Sutton. I wasn't crazy about hauling her into daycare with a million other kids in the town around an army base. I didn't think that'd be good for any of us. 

Then, I figured, while I was applying there, I might as well apply to the local district. It's a 5 minute commute, a very small school we'd only heard good things about, and it's where Wells would be zoned for kindergarten anyway. Again, still needed to figure out I would do with Sutton. In this case, the local school offers a daycare in their building. When I saw that, I was immediately interested in the possibility this offered.

At that point, I had decided that Wells would go wherever I went. If I was able to get a job at the private school, he was going there. If I was able to get a job at the public school, he was going there. If I didn't get a job at all, he'd go to public school. If (if) public school did not work for us, the deal I made with Scott was that I could pull him out and homeschool. 

Then, we started going to a local church in February; one that is about two minutes from our house. The people there were so nice and welcoming and kind. Wells started making friends and I realized that the kids there would be his classmates if he went to the local school. This is the community we live in and, while it's only 20-30 minutes from the military base, it feels like an entirely different world. I was reminded that there's a reason we live here and not on the army base. Such a huge part of me quitting my job was to stay home with Sutton when she was a baby, but it's also because I didn't want Wells going to school on a military base anyway. If I wanted that, we'd be living on the base. If I still worked there, he'd be going to school with me for his kindergarten year.

To the point here: I interviewed for the local public school in March and accepted a job that was pretty competitively sought after. I registered Wells for kindergarten there as well (which felt like a really big step, bigger than a job interview). And this on-site daycare? It's perfect. I will be able to see both of my kids any time I want during the day. These were all deciding factors in making it fit for us. It's a small district and I love that Wells won't be a number. There won't be a ton of kids moving in and out, either, since we're farther from the base. 

I kind of got the feeling that the private school prefers to hire private school teachers who attend the church that's attached to the school...and I will never fit that mold because I've always been a public school teacher. Like, I just will. The saying these days is that "not all teachers are bad", which is an awful way to refer to, basically, public servants. I do believe I'm one of the good ones because I apparently keep coming back for more. I have mentioned, more than once, that kids should be pulled out of public school if it isn't working for a family. I feel slightly hypocritical here but I've always caveated with "every school is different". Because every school IS different. 

In the end, if I am there and understand exactly what's going on day to day, I couldn't ask for more than that. I mean, what a compromise, right?

I suppose I could write an entire separate post on the guilt I feel about choosing to go back to work. 

But, to be honest, I am a better human when I have responsibilities. I was meant to keep at this. If I wasn't, I would've stopped long ago, I suppose. While the extra money is nice, I get a lot out of the experience. I like when our world is bigger and not smaller, if that makes sense. We've spent a lot of the last 13 years in transition and my teaching jobs have always grounded me. 

When it comes to the idea of homeschooling, if I'd felt the pull to do it, I'd have done it. While I *want* to be that homeschooling mom, I don't think I am. I mentioned that I started going to a book group with a lot of other homeschool moms; if anything, while I admire them and what they're doing, it's cemented that it's not for me right now. It's not one of those things I aspire to, I guess. Also...I know my child and he is probably not a great candidate for it at this point. I also know myself and it's unlikely we'd make it through week one. I feel almost ashamed to admit that; like I'm failing my own child, but you don't get to a dozen years of classroom experience without learning something about yourself in this regard. 

In the end, this also took a lot of prayer and patience. Not hoping or wishing but a lot of just waiting to be led to where I was supposed to be heading. < That's kind of a mouthful, I know. 

Anyway, as a fun twist, here's your reminder that when I was first hired to teach in Alaska (13 years ago), I was hired to teach 3rd grade, very specifically. (seriously, quite specifically). I couldn't wait: I ordered a bunch of school supplies online. By the time the school year began, I had switched to 4th grade and I've always loved it. Now, this many years later, I may get to use this banner after all:

I've literally been moving it around with us for 13 years because it was brand new and my reminder of my first real job. I feel like I HAVE to use it at this point. 

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