I'm back from a late lunch with A and J, currently both teaching high school English, who I met and befriended when they were both student teachers at the middle school were I had my single, misguided year teaching Social Studies. A is out east, teaching at a top-100 high school full of AP classes, and loving it. J is still here after being a long-term sub for 06/07 and working into a full-time position for the fall.
It was so good to see them both, and to get out of the house with someone other than my husband, and it only reaffirmed my decision not to teach. I have no regrets about leaving behind lesson plans, online attendance prone to system errors, phony hall passes, and curriculum-planning meetings. I certainly don't miss the smell either: a combination of hot lunch, disinfectant, pencil shavings, and unwashed boy that, together, form eau du Seventh Grade.
8 months ago