Why I Left the Classroom {And Don't Want to Go Back}!


This summer was quite unusual.  We decided to list our house to see if it would sell, and it sold in 8 days.  Then we had to find a new home.  In the midst of looking for a new house, I applied for two jobs in the district where we live. One was for a reading specialist, which I do now, and the other was for 8th grade English.

As I sat in the interview for the 8th grade English position, I pondered why in the world was I there and remembered back to all of the reasons I am NOT in the classroom anymore.

A few months ago a co-worker asked me if I missed being in the classroom.  My answer was a quick "No!"  Why, you may wonder?

Four years ago I left the classroom to do what I love the most ~ work as a Reading Specialist.  Though I still have a classroom of sorts, there are many aspects I don't have to worry about as much.  Those were the things about teaching that took time away from those parts of life I enjoy the most:  family and fun!

Here are the reasons I left the traditional classroom and won't go back!

1. Stacks of papers to grade.

I used to spend 3 hours every Sunday afternoon grading papers.  Now that my kids don't require naps, I can enjoy those three hours with them.

2.  Testing!  Need I say more!

3.  Setting up a classroom.  Some people love this, but I don't enjoy writing name tags and putting the kids' names on everything.

This drives me CrAzY!  I always got everything ready to find out a kid moved, or a new student moved in.

4.  My dealings with parents are much happier.

When I talk to parents, I am there to help their children.  They listen to my advice and take what I say to heart.  I have data (which I did before) to back up my findings, and they realize that they can work with me and the teacher to help their children.  It's a good feeling!

5.  I get to teach my favorite subject all.day.long!

I love teaching reading and watching the kids blossom into stronger readers.  I get to go to classrooms and help every student and guide their reading.  It is fun.

6.  I see people, real people!

I go from room to room and see smiling faces all day long.  I love seeing my colleagues as they go from place to place.  I love not being stuck in one place all day long.

7.  Behavior problems are almost non-existent.

I don't have a lot of problems with children because my groups are small, lessons are quick, and most of it is fun.  There is no time for students to misbehave because I have 30 minutes, and every lesson is fast paced or I am in the classroom with the teacher's guidance in discipline.

8. And the best part of my job is that I get to watch my students grow as readers from the time they enter kindergarten until the day they leave in fifth grade.  I can't do that in a traditional classroom!

These students steal my heart and make me smile as I tell them each year that they have grown as readers and that their journey is just beginning.

So, would I go back to the classroom?  If I had no choice, yes, I would.  But for now, I am enjoying my journey as a reading specialist and will stay with it as long as I can.

8 comments

  1. Great post! I'm glad you found your calling! Thanks for sharing :)

    Rae
    Mindful Rambles

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    1. Thank you! It has been an exciting journey, and I know that it will for many more years. Enjoy your school year!

      Andrea

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  2. I could have written this post! After 30 years in the classroom (24 teaching first grade) I also made the switch to being a Reading Specialist (K-6). This will be my third year and it just keeps getting better! I get to use my Special Education major, my Elementary Education major, and my Reading and Literacy Masters degree. I am hoping to stay in this position until I retire. I could take early retirement at the end of this year but I have no desire to retire. Have a wonderful year watching your readers grow. Liz (South Dakota)

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    1. Doesn't it feel great to know you are making such a difference and enjoying your job at the same time? I hope you continue to enjoy your position for many years more!

      Andrea

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  3. I agree with Liz from South Dakota...I could have written this post. I could have given the SAME EXACT REASONS for loving my job as a reading specialist!! This will be my fourth year in the position....and it just keeps getting better and better! :) I must admit I do miss having a "classroom" in terms of being in charge of "my students." I am not the best at sharing.....which includes kids! haha! I just want all of my lovies to stay with me ALL DAY!! :)

    Katie
    Mind Sparks

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    1. I sometimes feel the same way about my kids, but I love seeing their faces in the hallways too throughout the day.

      Andrea

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  4. I agree with everything you've posted! I was in the classroom for 14 years and will be entering my 7th year as a Reading Specialist. It is my calling. I LOVE all that goes with my specialist position! Glad you found your calling like me! We're two peas in a pod. ;)
    Literacy Loving Gals

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    1. Isn't it such a rewarding job? I now can't imagine doing anything else! Hope you have a wonderful school year!

      Andrea

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