saying goodbye to the classroom | a new chapter | olive june

saying goodbye to the classroom | a new chapter

{i left my hanging star; hoping to brighten someone else's passion along the way}

this week, i packed up nine years of lessons, posters, photographs, thank-you notes, handwritten letters, gifts and other memorabilia from my classroom. i loaded up my car with just a few bins and a plant, like a scene from a sappy movie and i bid farewell to a place that became so dear to my heart. 

this week, i said goodbye to wonderful colleagues, who watched me grow. they were there for me when i had a broken heart, when i lost family members and my sweet, beloved cat, we celebrated our weddings together, precious bitty babies being born, and so, so many laughs. i will miss the laughs most. i am also leaving brilliant, hard-working, creative, and energetic students. lots of middle school students whose birthdays i still remember and students who left lasting imprints; the kind that last a lifetime. they inspired me in so many ways. though teaching isn't always an easy profession, i know i have laughed every single day i've taught. they were 'my kids' throughout each school year because at the end of the year, they each left an impact on my heart. and i will miss them- so much.  

i prayed a lot about this decision and although it was extremely difficult, i think it is best for our family right now. the truth is, the only thing i dreamt about more as a little girl, besides becoming a teacher, was hopefully becoming a mom someday. i have always wanted this- more than anything else in the world. (and it's everything i ever dreamt of and so much more) 

in my heart, i also want to gain business experiences; in hopes of opening a 'dream job' in the future- hopefully once my kids are in school. i have been dreaming about this endeavor for years and i know deep down in my soul that this is what i want to do next. it's so cliche, but life is so short, and i want to fill my years with the people and adventures that both God leads me to and the ones i feel are most important; my family and fueling my creative spirit- i want to also encourage others along the way. {hopefully}  

saying goodbye this week was hard. i was holding back a stream of tears as i turned in my things and waved goodbye. i loved teaching. from the time i was a little girl, i always wanted to teach school. i even had a pretty legit {and very decorated} school set up in our basement growing up. most of the time, with no actual students. but i loved it so much. there were highlights magazines hung up with clothes pins, a reading corner, old discarded teacher's manual textbooks, which were 'gifts' from my loving teachers {if only they knew how much they meant to me} and an arts and crafts area. i wanted my students to explore their creativity- even back then. {my students: my stuffed animals and the younger neighbor kids... those were the really amazing days!} lastly, i remember having my brother's baby picture on my teacher's desk. he was my 'baby' because, you know, i was going to be a teacher and a mom someday.   

so here i stand, at the edge of all my plans. i am praying that this is the right choice. like my mom said to me after i resigned, 'be proud of what you have accomplished (i am so proud of you) and be at peace with your decision. it's time to be a mommy to precious parks now.' my family has been so supportive and i know they are proud of me. that means so much, especially right now. honestly, i had no intention of leaving the classroom when i got pregnant last year, but i know that i can't have it both ways. 

but there are many ways to teach. 

i am leaving the classroom much more independent, more confident and more inspired than when i entered as a young twenty-four year old. there are so many negative connotations about our youth today (especially middle schoolers) but let me tell you- for the most part, the kids are ok. most of them are so wonderful; they work-hard, love to learn, and will change the world for the better. i have no doubt. so many were simply a joy to teach. because of them, i am also leaving a calmer and more peaceful person. i am leaving knowing that i had the opportunity to do one of the hardest and greatest jobs of all- and i am so thankful for this. 

most of all, i am leaving the classroom because i know that the ultimate journey; the one that i was born to do most, is right in front of me... a chubby cheeked, sweet baby boy needs me right now. he is growing and changing every single day and how lucky am i to get to experience these moments? our little family will have to sacrifice things and experiences this year, but that is something we are willing to do. it's important to both of us that our kids are in this environment {and daycare is over half of my monthly income- sadly.} it's not for everyone, but i think it's for me. i am also a dreamer... and have lots of hopes and ambitions i want to conquer, too. but i am telling myself to be patient and to simply savor these days- because i already know that i will miss them. 

so as this chapter closes, the chapter of following my dream and becoming a teacher... i also know that there is a very, very 'special' chapter ahead. 
--my new classroom--
the best day of my life so far- 1.15.16 
aka the day mrs. monaco also became 'mom' 
i have some exciting things ahead - this i know.
i am so grateful to be this little boy's mom 


  1. Congratulations! Really!! I remember when I packed up and said goodbye to the corporate world to stay home and raise our three girls. Never regretted a single day or the decision. Now they are grown and I'm teaching until I retire or God calls me somewhere else. The best years I've had "teaching" is when I was home with my daughters. Best of luck - a good decision if you ask me. You only get one shot at this parenthood and it goes by fast! Enjoy....

  2. What a beautiful post! I know this was a decision you didn't make lightly and I applaud you for your honesty and compassion. I agree with your Mom - be proud of what you've accomplished and I truly believe you will be a success in every endeavor/adventure/journey you take. Enjoy each moment of this precious time with your baby. He is beautiful and clearly loved. (instagram nw613)

  3. What an incredibly hard decision to make. People often assume teaching is a family friendly profession but the hours of lesson planning, assessment and evaluation, parent/teacher contact, and extra curriculars there is little family time left. Just know you are making the right decision for you and your family. As someone who is entering the profession I am learning how competitive the career path is in my area. It will probably be a decade before I get full time. I am trying to create blogging as a second career while supply teaching.

  4. I love that you call Parks your ultimate journey...that is so precious.