After teaching at Martin High School for twelve years, I'm resigning at the end of May. My plan is to work as a full time freelance writer. This decision wasn't made lightly. April and I discussed everything last summer, and she has been incredibly supportive. In fact, I doubt I would've had the courage to make this decision without her constant belief in me. Teaching, if nothing else, has always been stable; it can be tempting to stick with the safe and familiar. Freelancing is a new challenge.
I've leaned heavily on the Freelancers Union , several books on freelancing (thank you Michelle Goodman), and the wisdom of my rogue entrepreneurial friends. Expect more news about my freelance plans in the coming months, including a possible Kickstarter side project. It will be awesome.
I sent a resignation letter to my principal. I had my exit interview with the personnel department. Right now, I've been tying all the loose ends, trying to find teachers to take over Chess Club, UIL Ready Writing, and Creative Writing. Tomorrow, I'll let my students know. Unless they follow me on Twitter, then they'll get the information a little early.
And no, my departure isn't part of some protest against the public school system or a stress-induced reaction to the occupation. I believe in public education and the teachers who make it work. I'll miss the people at Martin, especially the students. Over 1,800 students have endured my rambling lectures, my offbeat theories on Twain and Fitzgerald, and my writing assignments that didn’t always fit our curriculum guide (which ironically, I helped write). I would like to think that on my best days I was able to connect with students and persuade even the most apathetic among them to appreciate good writing.
I leave teaching with a deep reverence for this profession. As a child, I remember on several occasions waking up late at night. The living room light would still be on. I knew my mother was grading papers. What crazy person would do that? I love being a teacher, but it’s time. I’m ready for a new challenge.