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Thank you once again PLN!

I have to thank my wonderful PLN who once again cheers me on and keeps me going when my life feels like the chaos will never end!  Those of you who have signed up for the Educators Blogging Alliance, not to worry I still have the list and hope to get it all set up and sorted out this week.  My original date for the launching of the second Blogging Alliance came and went.  All I can say is that my plans for the end of the school year were much more ambitious than was actually feasible to accomplish.

A number of changes is occurring in my life and several of you have asked me what is going on.  Hopefully this post will help answer all of those questions in one place. I won’t be teaching in the classroom next year.  This was by choice (sort of).  I have auto immune disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Reynauds Syndrome.  These aren’t new for me, I have had them since I was about 9 years old.  However, this year has been an especially bad one.  I used to take medications to help keep me going and I did pretty well on a day to day basis.  Those medications gave me an ulcer this year.  So without meds I was feeling really bad all of the time.  After talking with my rheumatologist and several specialists, the consensus was that I can’t be around so many germs.  It seems that I chose the exact WRONG career for what my body can handle. I teach (taught) in a computer lab, this means that on a weekly basis I was exposed to every student in the school. All 437 of them.  I love my job, I love teaching, learning is my passion, but I can’t be sick all the time.  So, I made a hard decision and will not be working in the classroom next year.

My passion is teaching, learning, technology, and education.  Just because I’m not in the classroom does not mean that the passion goes away.   I have several opportunities that I am excited about.  I will continue to post to iLearn Technology and Dreams of Education.  I will continue to be an active member of my PLN (maybe even more active now that I can be), I will continue to offer professional development and teacher trainings.  I have plans to start a virtual enrichment classroom (I have to stay connected to teaching students!), self publish the curriculum and lessons that I have been writing for the past 7 years, and start a 1 to 1 iPad pilot program at CHC (where I taught).  There are exciting days ahead but I can’t help but feel sad over saying goodbye to my students, my classroom, and my colleagues.  I will miss them greatly!

It is hard to leave a job you love, it is hard to leave a steady income when the economy is iffy and teachers are having a hard time staying employed, it is hard to leave students who’s lives you have invested in.  Change is never easy for me but I am choosing to believe that new doors and opportunities will open up as a result.  Maybe I will be able to affect education in ways that wouldn’t have been possible from the classroom.  Once again, I want to thank you, my amazing PLN! You all are an amazing encouragement and make change infinitely easier to deal with.

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42 Comments

  1. Kelly, making changes can be scary and exciting at the same time. I love your positive attitude about it in the ways you are believing new doors will open and new opportunities are in the horizon. I do not doubt that for a minute. You are so helpful and successful in what you love to do. Belonging to the first bloggin alliance has been a wonderful experience for me. I have started to read so many great blogs and “met” so many people to learn from. It also has made me write more on my own blog, which has opened up some opportunites for me. Thanks so much for all you continue to do!

  2. I know that you are going to do some amazing things in education whether you are in the classroom or not. I think it is safe to say that your PLN will be here to support you in your new ventures. Never hesitate to reach out for help when needed. That’s what the PLN is here for.

    -Nick

  3. Hi Kelly, So sorry to hear about all of the physical challenges that you have to face. You have always been one of the most positive members of my PLN and I am happy to share ideas and resources with you. I wish you all of the best in your new position. I am sure that you will succeed in whatever capacity you find yourself. Your love of learning shows in all that you do and people will want to work with you either in person or on line. Keep in touch!

  4. Kelly,

    You’re so inspirational and brave. I hope this move definitely improves your health immensely. I can’t wait to see what exciting things you do. You do so much already that I can only imagine the possibilities! 🙂

  5. One of my principals used to say ‘you never know when you’ve been done a favour’. So I hope this change us great for your health and in turn, your happiness. My PLN is even more important since I’ve been working from home. All my love and prayers for you!

  6. Hi Kelly. Sorry to hear of you having to make such a tough decision. However, your health must come before anything else. I am a strong believer that when one door closes, another one opens and I’m certain that you will still be making a difference in education but from a different perspective. I’m so glad that you intend to keep up the Alliance as I, for one, would miss your input and wonderful enthusiasm for the future of our students.

    Good luck with it all, and make sure you get a good rest over the summer.

  7. Kelly,

    Yes, you will continue to make an impact on education – even if you are not fully aware of your reach… I think I am up to 36 “kellyt” tagged web site recommendations in my delicious account (delicious.com/fredkoch).

    Also understand how RA can be a challenge – I have it, too…

    A sincere and appreciative thank you!

    Fred

  8. I just wanted to say you have inspired me in so many ways and it has been an honour to apart of your PLN. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and I know you have the capacity to excel in whatever you set your mind to. All the best and I look forward to learning more from you. @artsteph26

  9. I wish you health as you travel this new journey. I was once told that illness can be a message that we need to take more time for ourselves and look within to the needs that are there. I was always frustrated by that comment. I never felt I had the time to be sick it was such an inconvenience. As I age I wish I had taken more time and taken better care of me.

    I enjoy your site and have learned a great deal. Thank you for sharing especially in light of your personal struggles.

  10. Well you can make a difference in people’s lives in more than one way. I look forward to what you come up with in this time of transition for you! Have you thought of getting involved with a Virtual School? Seems like distance learning would fit you well. Best wishes my friend!!

  11. I know that this is definitely a difficult decision to make (I myself chose to leave the classroom for different reasons last June) but I’m confident that you’ve done what’s best for you! I value you as a member of my PLN and it has become very obvious that you are a talented teacher and that will not change as you switch avenues for educating others 🙂 Enjoy the final month in the class with your kids and look forward to fresh opportunities next year!

  12. Yours is the only blog that I read immediately when it’s posted. I wish you better health and continued success…even if you’re not working directly in a classroom, you’re influencing students with the tips you give their teachers. I really appreciate it!

  13. Crudbasher, I have thought about getting involved in a Virtual School. I know several key players in Virtual Schools in CO that I plant to talk to.

  14. Fred, so sorry you deal with RA too. It sure can put a crimp in the daily plans. Thank you for the nice words, I am honored to have a spot in your delicious account!

  15. Welcome to the other side – out of the classroom and into the “real world” (it’s not that much different – the people are older but most of the personalities are the same).
    As someone who was once infront of every student in the school each week in a computer lab I know exactly what type of germ nexus it can be.
    The hardest thing to get used to is that your focus is not all in one (geographical) place anymore, and the restrictions / structure of being a classroom teacher (lunch break is always the same in a school) is not there anymore. It’s a freedom that takes getting used to.
    Enjoy your last weeks at school. Good luck and take care.

  16. Hey Kelly, I just wanted to say best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

    My mom’s boyfriend has really bad rhumotoid as well as a close friend of mine. I understand the struggle, medication, and side effects that can occur.

    My close friend who has it is a 1st grade teacher and her health has been an issue at times.

    I’m sure you’ll be a success in whatever you decide to do!!

  17. Kelly, I have been following your blog and your tips for some time now. I am a teacher myself and I love my job, just like you do so I understand how hard it must be to give up to actually being in the classroom with the students.
    Anyway, we will all be looking forward to your posts and WE seem to be quite a lot of people so GOOD LUCK! and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
    Rosa, Spain (http://inglesiesollosgrandes.blogspot.com/)

  18. I seem to have missed this post Kelly and am only just now catching up on my reading over our long weekend. I am so sorry that you are challenged with health issues. I hope and pray that those close to you will cherish and support you. Having you support me as a new blogger has been invaluable you deserve all the praise previous commenter have given you. I will look forward to continuing to learn from you and your websites.

  19. I am sorry to hear that you have to leave the classroom but I am happy to see that you will be able to continue doing what you love. I, too, resigned this year because my husband was relocated to a different area for his job. We decided that it would be nice for me to stay at home with our 2 year old for a year or two but man it was hard leaving those kids, the classroom, and what occupied most of my life the past 4 years behind. So I know exactly how you feel when leaving your colleagues and students. Best of luck to you in your new adventures!

  20. Hi kelly.

    life is full of choices, some are made for us, some we choose our selves but we travel the path they take us on to the future that awaits us. I believe you will be as awsome in the future as you are now. This way you will have more time to impact on the lives of even more young people and have a world of new colleagues. If i can ever help you only need to ask.

  21. Alison, what a blessing to be able to stay home with your 2 year old. That is such a great gift to your family. Just because what is in store is fantastic, doesn’t make it any easier to leave your students and colleagues. Best of luck to you too!

  22. Hi Kelly – I know it was a tough year for year and an even tougher decision you had to make to leave the classroom. But, as much as you love teaching, and as amazing as you are at it, nowhere does it say that YOU have to get lost in the process. As teachers, we do so much for our students, but we have to remember that if we don’t take care of ourselves too, then we won’t be able to take care of them.

    I’m so proud of you and the decision you’ve made! And there is no doubt in my mind that, wherever you go, whatever you do, you will have a tremendous impact on education. I learn so much from you and the amazing work you do here on your blog, and your support and friendship has been invaluable to me. I take all of that into the classroom with me every day. You will always impact my students through me, and there are so many “me’s” out there! Just think of the impact you’ve had and continue to have!

    No, it won’t be the same as working directly with students, but rest assured that your passion for education will most definitely reach the kids. That’s why we do this…right?

    You’re an inspiration, kiddo!!!

  23. Kelly:

    I am sorry to hear about your challenges. You are a true inspiration to us all. Instead of letting it get you down, you are ready to tackle it head on. Life does bring us surprises. I recently left the computer lab (after 6 years) due to changes in educational ideologies. However, it gives me the opportunity to bring technology to children through non-traditional means. I look forward to sharing with them what you have been sharing with us. God bless.

  24. Kelly,
    I hereby nominate you queen of educational technology and the supreme chancellor of the Internet. You never cease to amaze me as an awesome blogger and a model teacher. Your reach is felt far and wide. Thank you for your loyalty and commitment to the greater good, your passion for teaching and learning, and your incredibly positive attitude. I wish you all the best. Thanks for all your hard work!

    -Buzz

  25. Buzz, that is very nice…better watch out, my head will get so big that even the Internet can’t contain it 🙂 Really appreciate it!

  26. Hi Kelly

    I admire what you have created through your blog, Twitter, etc.
    My class love learning through Habits of Mind and if they read your post, would see that you have these by the bucketload.

    I follow your tweets and you always have great info to share.

    Really admire your decision, it’s not easy to make changes when they are forced on you. Your post hit home with me. I leave teaching – but not my passion for teaching – at the end of this term for many of the same reasons as you. I found your post very reassuring that there is life after the classroom. I’ve begun study for my Master of Teaching so I know, like you, that I’ll always be in education.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration.

    Justine 🙂

  27. I’m featuring your blog on my site (Ask a Tech Teacher) along with some truly phenomenal bloggers and figured I’d drop in and see what makes you tick. What a story!. I wanted to share something I rarely share at school (because I don’t want the sympathy) that I have rheumatoid arthritis also, for 20 years no. It beats us down even on good days, doesn’t it? I wonder if getting away from teaching would help. No one ever mentioned that.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  28. Jacqui,
    Thank you! I will say that the year that I was out of the classroom I went into remission. Now that I am back with kids I am suffering with it (even on the good days). The Dr. told me that because this is an auto-immune disorder, anything that stirs up the immune system also stirs up the RA. It is a shame that what we love to do affects us in negative ways. I’ve found that I can take education out of my blood. Wish you the best!

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