Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's time to turn the page.

Many, many, many, many times I've thought about this post. And each time I've just avoided it. There's too much to say, and no way for me to put all of my emotions into words. But I do feel that this upcoming transition in my life is worthy of being put into the best words that I can. And so I sit and write.

About 5 years ago, I remember babysitting at the pool when I got a call from the principal of Creech Road Elementary offering me a teaching job. After job fairs, many printed and delivered resumes, interviews, and phone calls, I had just been entrusted with the opportunity and responsibility of walking into a classroom to teach 20+ kids from all walks of life. It would be a very clear and bold truth to say that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.

The 22-year-old me had no clue how to structure and manage a classroom. I didn't know how to relate to 10-year olds on a daily basis. I didn't have much experience working with a team of people in a professional setting. And I certainly didn't have the content knowledge for what I was supposed to teach. Heck, I didn't even know what the curriculum looked like.

And yet over time I learned. When those 10 year olds come walking in, somehow you figure it out. There is no other option. There is no Plan B. You know what needs to happen, and so you make it happen. And with the help of many co-workers (who have since become precious friends), I dove in that first year and became a teacher. Now, there were ups and downs, highs and lows, roses and thorns...however you want to look at it, but the growth and learning came from the combination of them all. I could get up on a soapbox like many do these days and tell you everything I agree and disagree with concerning public education after being in it for several years, but that's not really what I want to communicate at all. After five years, I feel less political, and more thankful. Thankful for what I've learned and how I've changed. Thankful for unbelievably amazing co-workers. Thankful for children that taught me more than I would ever be able to teach them. Just really, really thankful.

All of this reflecting on my time as a teacher is timely because just a few weeks ago, I closed out my 5th year of teaching 5th grade at Creech Road Elementary and resigned from my position within the Wake County Public School System.

Back in the Fall I began feeling, for the first time, a freedom and choice in perhaps not continuing with teaching. I didn't hate teaching. I didn't feel stuck in teaching. I actually loved it. But I began feeling like God was stirring in my heart some kind of change.

So I immediately began wondering about photography. Could this be the time for me to take the jump? It being a huge passion of mine, I started thinking about the possibilities of putting more time into it and potentially where it could take me. But as the Lord was working in my heart and guiding me in this process, little did I know that He was also preparing a part-time (30-hr) administrative position for me to step into by joining staff with FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) in the Raleigh area. So after much prayer and many months of interviews, trainings, meetings, etc. I have accepted that position with FCA.

It's amazing how faithful God is all the time when we trust Him. This job will allow me to pursue photography with a bit more passion than I have in the past. It will give me the flexibility that I need in order to build this business. And yet at the same time, I have the opportunity to be part of an incredible work environment within FCA and hopefully fulfill administrative needs of some of the local staff that will enable them to place more of their time and energy on the coaches and athletes in this area.

Although this transition has been gradual, and I have had much time to think on it and consider it, it has been anything but easy for me. Even though I know I will enter into a great job, leaving teaching has been extremely bittersweet. I would certainly appreciate your prayers as I begin work mid-July and commit more time to photography.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to so many of you who have stretched me and taught me and grown me throughout my 5 years of teaching. I wouldn't change one thing about it.

Here's to turning the page and beginning a new chapter.



Anonymous said...


You are the poster child for Acuff's Start book.

Very exciting.

I remember leaving teaching for "next" very clearly and it was 18 years ago. I do miss it still but know it was the right decision.

Denise Lopatka said...

could not be happier for your new decision! will be praying for a smooth transition.

love u!