In normal world (i.e- not teacher world), you give your employer two weeks notice before you leave. Am I correct? I mean, I remember the days of old, pre-degree, when I was a waitress. [At PoFolks, just for your information.] And I recall calculating when I wanted to quit and then knowing exactly what day to put in my 2 week notice. To be honest, I was tired of smelling like biscuits and green beans. I had to get out of there.

And a friend of mine, the corporate type, just got an awesome new job in the downtown ATL. To listen to her describe the interview process, negotiations, resignations, and bonus-ations [I made that up] was quite enlightening. The world is far more like Ally McBeal than I ever realized. And as I talked to corporate friend, I remembered that normal workers can switch jobs any time of the year. Not just August.

Do you remember when you were little and your entire life revolved around a SCHOOL calendar, not a REAL calendar? I still say “this year” referring to August 07. “Next year” is August 08. I have multi-year years. You don’t. Because you are normal.

There are many advantages to this calendar and this profession. Namely
1) June
2) July
3) 2 weeks at Christmas
4) Spring Break “Yeah baby! WHOO HOO!! SB08!!” [I have no real cause to do that, it just always feels like the correct response when saying “Spring Break”, doesn’t it?]

But there are disadvantages. Like when you have to sign an intent form for your principal in January 08 that determines your job life from August 08 to May 09. Gracious. That is a long time away. And every year it makes me break out in cold sweats to plan that far in advance.

Not this year.

I walked in to my Principal’s office Tuesday morning and handed her my intent form. She hugged me, smiled, and said, “I’m so proud of you”. That’s a good leader.

She knew before I even showed her the paper. I won’t be going back to Woodstock Elementary School after this year ends. In fact, I won’t be teaching at all for the 08-09 year.

I’m going to try to be a writer. The real kind. The going after a dream kind. The “if God doesn’t show up for me financially I don’t know what I’ll do” kind. [I think I just threw up in my mouth a little- still working this faith thing out.]

The taking step #3 kind.

But starting in June, I get to live by a normal calendar for the first time in my life, though I fear that a school calendar is so ingrained into my mind that all things will work on a 180 day schedule for the rest of my life. I’m okay with that if I can keep that June/July part.

I couldn’t write about it before today because there were two terribly important kids that I wanted to tell personally. We go get smoothies on Fridays after school; it’s our tradition. We drive through neighborhoods and pick out houses to live in when “we grow up”, we play random games with the radio, we talk about God and baptism, and we always laugh about things. And sometimes I think one of the main reasons God brought me to WES is for them. And He probably brought them to WES for me. The idea that they would hear of my leaving from a teacher, or (God forbid) a teacher’s kid, freaked me out. So I kept it kinda quiet for their sake.

It’s hard to explain to 4th and 5th graders whom I LOVE that I feel God leading me away from them. That doesn’t fit into the God box in their head. So I prayed and prayed for God to show them Himself in our conversation today. Because I DESPERATELY want them to love God MORE because of our friendship, not be saddened by His ways.

I cried dribbly tears as I told them, their faces blanking out on me in defense mode. Their laughter gone, stoic faces in place. My smoothie turned sour. And all I could think was, “God, this better be Your plan because I’m hurting them.” No eye contact. No one really spoke much as we got to their home. The parents already knew- I teach with the mom and I consider them good friends- so they were prepared for a less than enthusiastic entrance.

It was awful, to be certain.

I have to wonder. Is this what Jesus means by losing your life? Maybe. It sure feels like it.

Matthew 16:25
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.”

Pray for these two friends of mine, as you pray for my stepping, that God would be their rock. That they would know His great love for them. I’m praying that the boy would grow up to be a mighty man of God who stands by his beliefs and leads others with Godly wisdom. I’m praying that the girl will cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit that trusts Him at every turn and is strong in her convictions.

And I’m believing that they will both be braver for God because of this.