Declaration of What’s Up Next Year

When I first decided to take a year’s leave of absence, I made a promise to myself that I’d have a plan for next year by Spring Break of 2016. Welp. I have no clue what I’m doing next school year. But I promised I’d tell you, dear reader, so I’ll share one thing I do know. I’ve resigned my position at Federal Way Public Schools. I leaving with a heavy heart and a hope to return. Chronic health issues are preventing me from serving in the classroom next year.

A year ago, when I broke the news of my leave to my teaching partner and dear friend, she told me, “You’re moving on to bigger and better things.” If anyone else would have told me that, I would have rolled my eyes and gotten flustered at the semi-compliment. I believe our most important work in education is being done in the classroom, so where did that leave me?

A few months later, I followed up with her on the comment.

“If anyone else had told me that, I would have told them to — off. But *you* said it to me, and you love me and I value what you have to say, so I need to give more thought to why I respond so strongly to it.” So here’s what I came up with, briefly.

I’m deeply uncomfortable with the phrase “moving on to bigger and better things,” because if we’re always growing and learning, aren’t we always inherently moving on to bigger and better things? And isn’t that a beautiful thing? So why do folks often use the phrase as a loaded way to pass judgement couched in a compliment? I realize now that she wasn’t using it in a loaded way, she meant it sincerely, and I love her for saying it.

Here’s the text of the e-mail I sent to my principal, and in the spirit of completionism, I’ve attached my official resignation letter.

Hi Michael,

I had hoped to be able to speak with you in person before I submitted my resignation letter, but I hope you’ll be able to understand and forgive me for communicating in digital means instead.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to put together a plan where I’d be able to stay at the Wood; if anyone asks what’s up, let them know I’d love to talk with them in person once I’m able.
It has been a privilege to work with and learn from you. I look forward to possibly hanging out with you in the future? (question mark? If you and Elizabeth are interested?)
Thank you for believing in me and pushing my thinking. Thank you for trusting me (? question mark?). Thank you for being our Superman.
In service,

FWPS Resignation Letter 2016

So, I guess, that’s what’s up.

We are Wildwood. #wildcatsrawr

One thought on “Declaration of What’s Up Next Year”

  1. Shannon,
    Very nice.

    Bigger? Who knows? Better? Yes, no matter what you do or where go, it MUST be better for YOU!

    No need for “good luck.” You don’t need luck. You are very capable! You know what is best for you and your health. However, congratulations are in order for a smart, well thought out, healthy decision.

    As always,

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