It's official: I'm no longer a teacher. I am a former teacher. Today was the final day of fall semester, and I don't see my name on the teaching schedule for spring semester.
I've been feeling a little fragile all day. I've taught my last class, graded my last paper, entered my last end-of-semester grade. No more lesson plans, no more pre-class butterflies, no more purple pens writing praising/encouraging/constructively criticizing remarks in margins of papers. No more learning new software and wrestling with hardware; no more frantically trying to work through a new textbook that the publisher decided to release five minutes before class started. No more teaching highs; no more teaching lows. No more hours at the kitchen table on Sunday night, working my way through a stack of technical writing statistical reports.
No more waking up at 2 a.m., worrying about some other mother's child who isn't doing well, who isn't adjusting very well to college responsibilities. I . . . am . . . exhausted. And I will miss it. It was a wonderful, worthwhile way to spend my life.