Retiring from teaching at the ripe age of 28

I have been crazy swamped in the Hood.

 I apologize for that, but holy moly there has been a whole heck of a lot happening y’all! Let me start by saying “I survived the last week of being a Kindergarten teacher. It was touch and go there for a while but I made it out alive. I know y’all were probably very concerned. Also, my apologies for the novel that you will hopefully stick through.


SPOILER ALERT:

I am officially no longer a teacher. Although I’m not sure you can just STOP being a teacher. I’m no longer being paid to teach (some may see this as a relief). I will fill you in on how I got here. Also in reference to the featured image of this post, I’m not a nurse YET. The cup was a flippin awesome gift from my bad-A cousin, Jazz (also a nurse).  She wanted to encourage me! The back says “Cute enough to stop your heart, skilled enough to restart it.” And yes, I know I’m not wearing makeup and there was hair in my face. I also haven’t plucked my eyebrows-eyebrow in about 3 months. I’ve been busy ok? If you want good pictures you can visit my instagram- where they’re all filtered (HA!) @lyfe_in_the_hood (but for real, follow me, and my chickens)

 

FIRST: A little background knowledge about yours truly (aka me):

  • I didn’t go to school to be a teacher (it just wasn’t the original plan), but I have a degree that has an emphasis on child development- so going into teaching was not a far-fetched idea for what I could do “when I grow up” (still waiting). I went to school to be a nurse- but then was told I wouldn’t get in so I said: “Okie doke, thanks for the heads up, I will just not give this a second thought cause I just want to get out of college- so I switched my major.”
  • Immediately upon graduating college (Hook em’ Horns), I started taking classes to get another degree in Nursing while working. All in all some major life events happened within my family and I was working some crazy hours. So before shelling out more money for another degree, I decided to try using the one I had already. Hence why I got into teaching. My mother was a teacher for over 30 years and many individuals in my family are in education. I am no stranger to the classroom and actually really enjoyed teaching!

 

Fact:

Teachers work their BUTTS off, they do NOT get compensated for the things they do/ have to put up with. I have the utmost respect for teachers. I’m not going to get into the politics of teaching but I will say this. I know many teachers who would love to get summers off but don’t because they are too busy working a second job. Or they spend a huge portion of their summer preparing for the next year. I could make it work financially, but it’s just me to take care of. There aren’t children to feed yet and my bills get paid with what I was earning. But if something (like life) happens and you have to shell out extra money, it just wasn’t there (not without a payment plan for like the next 12 years-holla back student loans!). And life always seems to happen. Am I right?

Sidenote: It truly isn’t all about the money.  I’m certainly not a money driven person (I haven’t ever had enough money to drive me anywhere). But if you are a teacher, it has to be a passion. The rewards you find come from WITHIN your classroom, in the growth of your students. They’re from the toothless grins that light up when they finally figure out that they can read, when they come to you for comfort,  or start writing you love letters that you so carefully showed them how to write (I taught Kindergarten so there was a lot of “I love you Ms. Hood” notes). THOSE are the rewards of teaching.

For those that haven’t seen my Confessions of a Terrible Teacher post:

 

I did love teaching…

most days. There were days that I thought I needed to be locked up and for someone to hide the key (or toss it into the ocean cause we may have all been better off). Before you start getting judgy on me….Let me ask you this, have you spent your entire day trying to not only TEACH but APPEASE about 20  5&6 year olds? If you have/ do then you KNOW how absolutely nuts you can feel after a day of herding cats. How relieved you feel when, dare I say get a bathroom break?

I kept asking the teachers who had been teaching for years, “How do you go home to kids this age after giving your all to someone else’s kids?” “How did my mom do this?” The questions continued…. “Are you sure this is what you wanna do Hood?” “Can you picture yourself in 30 years being happy with the work you have done or will you still be questioning the decisions you so hastily made when you were 19 and so easily swayed?” Don’t get me wrong, for every “psycho” day I had there were several amazing days, full of laughter, connections made, and pure joy for what I was doing.

See the joy? 

But those questions are what drove me to pursue something else… because I’m just not convinced that teaching is my PASSION yet. And I’m sorry but there are other people that are affected by this, and those are the kids that walked into my room each day, trusting me to give them my all and for me to invest in them, their lives, their families. It wasn’t fair to them that I kept re-thinking my career. I teach my children (my students) that they can be anything they want to be as long as they are willing to work hard for it (and it’s realistic of course).

So was I actually being a great teacher if I didn’t live by my own teachings? Was I pursuing my dream? The answer was “No, I wasn’t”. I knew that in several years, I would be asking myself the same question I had been asking since I graduated college (What if I had tried to become a nurse?)

So I said to myself:

“Hood, you’re gonna try this one last time. If you fail, you will know it wasn’t meant to be and you can stop with all the questions.” And so I tried. I took classes on my summer break and online while working. I had zero life if it wasn’t studying during that time. When you really want something, you don’t stop when things get hard.

Fast forward a year from that decision…. I had taken my entrance exams, and submitted my application for Nursing school. NOW WE WAIT…….SOOOO LONG. I submitted in February and didn’t find out until May 21st.

I’m definitely a praying woman (even Jesus drank wine!). I prayed that God give me the opportunity if it was in His will and to NOT allow the door to even creak open if it wasn’t cause I was gonna be bustin’ through.

After months of waiting, the e-mail finally came (go green? Actual acceptance letters aren’t a thing?). I’d gotten into Nursing School and I resigned from teaching that same day… the last week of school. I bawled. This whole week I’ve had so many mixed emotions. To say I haven’t looked back would be a lie. I haven’t been out of school that long, but school has already started for me. Not actual nursing school but a nursing skills class that you can’t take until you have been accepted into the program.

I have already asked myself if this was the right choice but not because of difficulty. It’s because teaching is what I knew… my comfort zone….and now I’m completely out of my comfort zone….. which is what I asked for (sometimes you just aren’t prepared for what you’re asking for).

Let’s be real here (because Life in the Hood is REAL): 

I’m scared to death. I’m scared of failure. I have no real plans for income as of right now (luckily I get paid till Almost back to ashes August- so I have some cushion to figure things out). No health insurance (which is a requirement for the program). I have NO idea how this is going to work itself out. But I do have FAITH. I wouldn’t have gotten this far by chance.

I truly believe whatever is meant to be will work out. It could be that I get into Nursing school, and realize it’s not for me and the teaching life is what I wanted all along. You have to be open to the possibility that what you thought you wanted wasn’t at all what you needed. I want to be an example of my teachings. Our lives are too short to live to work and not do what we feel called to do. If I have to take (more) loans out to continue my education, then so be it. God got me to this and He will guide me through it. Enjoy your comfort zones while they are there cause I’m UNCOMFORTABLE. But excited….. ya dig?

My advice to you: Don’t settle. It’s NEVER too late….“better late than never” (a phrase I use mostly on my bosses when I’m late to work)

Hate my life advice? It’s ok, I also craft.

Check out these other posts for a change. If you don’t like those go check out my chickens, and if you don’t like my chickens then you may leave (no don’t go)!

DIY Flower Welcome Sign, DIY State flag sign, Bathroom Humor Sign

6 Comments

  • Brittany June 3, 2018 at 10:11 am Reply

    “hate my life advice, it’s ok I also craft” 😂😂😂 I came from a family of primarily nurses and teachers. Both hard and rewarding paths! I went into clinical lab science, so I know all about you nurse types, if you ever need lab help I’ve got your back. Congratulations!!

    • hillaryhood08 June 3, 2018 at 10:31 am Reply

      Thank you girl! Yes my family is full of educators and some nurses sprinkled in as well. My Granny was a nurse and my cousin is a nurse. I’m so excited to see where my new path takes me. I may be needing your help very soon!

  • Monika June 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm Reply

    Good for you! I can totally relate, I also fell into teaching and now I’m trying figure out my real path. Life is too short, take your chance while you still can.

    Monika
    MonikaMakingMoves.com

    • hillaryhood08 June 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm Reply

      You’ll find it girl! I love your blog btw

  • Samantha July 6, 2018 at 10:15 pm Reply

    You can do it, Hillary! It’s hard trying to figure out all of the career stuff, man. I did a double major in Classics and Theater and Film (WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TALK ME OUT OF THIS?!?) which led pretty much to just office work. If I were to do it all over again, I think I’d do nursing. (Except I have a major eye phobia. And I’m squeamish. Don’t really like needles, either. These shouldn’t be problems, right?)

    Good luck on your new journey–you’ll be great. You’ve got a sense of humor and a bunch of chickens, and when it comes down to it, that’s really all you need!

    • hillaryhood08 July 6, 2018 at 10:22 pm Reply

      I wonder if the Chicken Poop on my shoes will help the hospital thrive like it does plants or if it will be considered a Bio Hazard. I guess only time will tell. Thank you for the support! I was in theatre! I think if you can be a mom you could probably be a nurse. You wear all the hats a s a mom!

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