I'm really going to miss this place:
Back in the beginning of this year, my boss asked me what my plans were for once the baby was born. I told her I didn't know. I honestly didn't. And when time came to turn in my contract for the 2012-2013 school year, I still didn't know. I knew I'd want to be with my baby, but I didn't want to leave my classroom either. Being the amazing person that she is, she told me, "Unless you know for sure that you aren't coming back, turn in your contract. If you have that baby and in May you decide you can't leave her, I will understand, and I will not be upset. There's many people here that would love to take your classroom if I need to replace you." So, I turned in my contract.
I guess I always had an out, but when my boss asked me in June when I came to visit with Ruby, I still didn't have a daycare lined up, and I was still torn on whether to go back. In a perfect world, I'd take some more time with my girl, and then return to my classroom at our Park campus just like I'd never left it.
Except this world isn't perfect. At our school if you leave your classroom, someone else will take it. And if they don't want to leave when you want to come back, it's too bad for you, because they now have claim to it. In fact, that's how I got my room with the big windows pictured above. Another teacher got pregnant. Her baby was even due right before school started and she came back almost right away, but in the interest of consistency, they put someone who'd be there the whole year (me) in that room, and she got a job basically as a substitute at our other campus. Lucky for her, a classroom opened up for the following year up there when a teacher moved, but that rarely happens. People don't like to leave their classrooms because chances are, you'll never get it back.
It's now the end of July. Staff goes back to work in one month. We had to make a decision, and even though I wish I never had to make it, I knew I owed it to my boss to do it asap. Keith felt confident we could make it work financially (I'm still really scared about this part of it), and that I should stay home with her since it made me sick to my stomach to think of leaving her.
I was so scared to tell my boss. I felt I'd waited too long, and that I was letting her down and leaving her in a hard place. She is such a caring person, but I just didn't know if she would be upset that I hadn't made this decision earlier.
She could not have been more understanding. She said, "Jenny, there's not a mother in the world that hasn't been through this. I gave you an out, and I'm not mad. And you know you always have a place here." She said a lot of other kind things, too, and I am just so grateful to have worked for such an amazing person. She said that when I was ready to come back, there'd be a job for me in some capacity.
Then she told me the best/most interesting thing. She said she might just close my room for the year and disperse the students into other classrooms at our main campus. Enrollment right now is low anyway, and there aren't even any boys in the class right now so parents might prefer it. If she does that, there is a small chance that I could go back to my room next school year (if they decided to reopen it). I think I will keep my fingers crossed for that, and in the mean time count myself SO lucky to have found such an amazing place in the education community.