No longer

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I awoke this morning to an email that made me pause for a moment. I knew the moment was coming. I have for a while, of course, but actually seeing it there in print made me pause and contemplate the past. A stage in my life is truly over and going back isn’t an option (at least not an easy one).

This morning I had the official notification via email from OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) that my teaching certificate is now officially expired.

Again, I knew this day would be coming for seven years (well, nearly 7…in a little over a month it will be 7 years since I left the classroom). It has been in the back of my mind and occasionally I would get reminded when I would glance at my National Board Certification. The expiration date was right there on the bottom – June 30, 2022. My state teaching certificate was tied to that because the National Board Certification linked the two and extended the state expiration date.

I am no longer a teacher.

It’s hard to say that. There was a lot of time, money, and effort tied to that part of my identity. Of course, I haven’t been a classroom teacher for nearly seven years, but to actually have that part of my life come to an official end (there was always that “open door” to go back) is a little surreal. I loved my subject and I really liked teaching students about it. I didn’t like all the time and politics related to the job.

I am happy with where I am now, don’t get me wrong. However, officially letting go of that part of me is surprisingly more emotional than I thought it would be.

I will always be a teacher, just not a classroom teacher. I guess I have to remember that. I still teach people in education about the software they use. I still teach teachers about the software they use to track student progress. It’s just a different kind of teaching.