Leaving the Teaching Profession – A Bittersweet Goodbye

I won’t be attending Meet the Teacher night this year. There will not be any ice breakers at the back to school faculty meeting for me. As a result, I will not be scrambling to set up a fresh new classroom for another incoming class. I am leaving the teaching profession. This year I am doing my own thing. I have decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship.

Goodbye to My Previous Self

Leaving my teaching position at a public school, was a huge decision. I was saying farewell to so many of the negative aspects of the thankless job of teaching. Goodbye to the bureaucracy that surrounds the profession. It was as if everything was spiraling down the drain, the whole system. I felt burned out. Many of us did.

Fear and Excitement

It was not easy to say the words “I am leaving” to my principal and to my friends whom I have worked alongside for over a decade. Thoughts and actions are two very different things! I did it and felt elated as I walked the hallways knowing I had something brighter on my horizon, something that was almost a secret to most. I compared it to the first trimester of pregnancy, you have this giant secret that only a few people know about and it’s literally growing inside of you!

Where Do I Fit

Well, here we are, fast forward through this summer…which felt like a fast forward due to all of the work and preparation my family and I put into our new venture. My skin saw the sun one time this whole summer break. Now all of my teacher friends are returning to work. They are feeling the excitement about the new year, and partial dread that the summer has come to an end. I am, however, feeling an odd sense of loss. I will miss the return of many faces I hadn’t seen in weeks. Now gone to me, is the energy from teachers getting back in the swing of another year. Additionally, without this experience, it has already detached me from my teacher circle somewhat. Sadly, that is so foreign to me. It’s who I’ve been for the last 15 years!

Bittersweet Goodbye – Leaving the Teaching Profession

But more importantly, I know I will miss the new little faces that walk through the door at Meet Your Teacher night, full of uncertainty and wonder about this new person who will ultimately play a huge role in their upcoming year. I will miss establishing relationships with these tiny humans and their unique personalities. I’ll miss the moments when you know you have touched their lives. Those times that you know you just taught them something big, and real, yet it wasn’t in any curriculum. It was a life lesson. These are the things that kept me coming back year after year. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye as I’m leaving the teaching profession. In a way I am sad. Yet, I have another amazing journey waiting for me but I will miss this trip a lot. These are the mixed emotions that I’m feeling in this chapter of my life.

Tough Truths About Being a Teacher Mom

Lisa Hellman
Lisa was born and raised on Long Island, NY. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz with a concentration in Fine Arts. Lisa has worked for Conde Nast Publications, and in the Stock Photography industry, licensing intellectual properties. She moved down to Florida with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog in 2004. Four years later her last daughter was born, and since then, they have made Odessa their home for the past 14 years. After taking a seven-year hiatus from the corporate world, to stay home with her children, she returned to work as a substitute teacher, thinking she would do that part-time since she loved teaching her own kids over the years, as they developed and grew. Little did she know, she’d become a certified elementary school teacher for the next 13 years! During her time away from school, she enjoys spending time with family and doing things around her community. Lisa loves spending time with her friends as well, enjoying a glass of wine and having great conversations! She loves the outdoors and the beach, as this is her haven. Lisa enjoys the arts and dabbles in pottery, drawing and crafting.


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