Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Opening Day and my Heavy Heart

I'm think I mentioned that I'm a 6th grade Language Arts teacher in my very first post (my personal favorite from my measly 11 posts). Today was my school district's opening day, and for the first time in my life I went with a heavy heart.

Let me briefly explain.

See, teaching defined me - ran through my veins. To say I loved my job would fall pathetically short. To say I loved going to work would be the statement under the understatement. You get the picture. Being a teacher is a gift, a joy, a pleasure, a hell of a lot of work, yet, it is as rewarding as being a parent. Yeah, it is that good.

So, why the heavy heart you ask? Well, if you read my previous blog posts, you already know... its the books I've written. I LOVED the experience of writing those novels even more than teaching.

Wait a second while I catch my own breath here. I shock myself. For the first time ever I found something I liked better than planning, researching, creating, collaborating, guiding, leading...something I liked better than teaching. Writing.

It's plain crazy talk. But, it's true. So. So. So. True.

I went to opening day with my heavy heart and it lightened when I saw my incredible colleagues...my dear friends and we giggled through the speeches and the talks. My heart lightened when I ran down to my classroom and read the enormous quote posters I hung last week to inspire great writing from my kids. My heart lightened when I went to my mailbox and saw my class lists...filled with real kids...with real expectations, and self-doubts, and room to grow.

If I ever get that ginormous publishing deal in the sky - the one that affords me the true luxury of being a full-time writer - well, maybe then I'll leave teaching. For now though, I have to make room in my heart for both teaching and writing because I have 82 students coming my way next Tuesday and they need my heart to be in it 100%.