The way you approach the last day at a job usually sums up the entire experience. My last day at my first real job was spent frantically trying to get my files in order for the people who I’d trained to replace me and eating a lot with co-workers I really appreciated (and still miss). My last day teaching was one big sprint from start to finish, trying to cram in all of the last things needed before I said goodbye to kids who had become like a small, dysfunctional family. These two goodbyes were bittersweet. The first because I was leaving people I liked, but a job that didn’t really fit me. The second because I was leaving people I liked, a job I liked, and a country I liked to move overseas.
But the most recent last day at a job wasn’t bittersweet at all. It was cause for celebration.
Yup. I’ve quit teaching English at the hotel. And, true to form, the last day was a summing up of the entire experience. Although everyone knew it was my last day, not one of my regular students showed up. It was basically a room of 10 new people. Two or 3 of them had come once or twice, but not enough for it to matter. Some of the students were fluent. Some couldn’t even say hello. Nine of them were forced to come by their manager. Ten of them left early. One of me didn’t care one bit.
The days of making careful lesson plans designed to maximize their learning potential went away a long time ago. I admitted defeat in that area. If the students who truly want to learn can’t come regularly because of work schedules and management, and only apathetic people show up who complain no matter how or what I teach, then why bother? Instead of running from this apathy, I embraced it. It helped me make it through the past 2 months. And now that my burgeoning belly and increasing difficulty to get around makes long bus rides and long classes really annoying, I have my excuse for saying goodbye. That’s a word I made sure they all learned. They also heard “See you later,” “Take care,” and “I’m out of here, suckers!”
As my hub and I celebrated this job’s end with some flame-broiled goodness at Burger King, I reflected on the past 2 years. Yes, I’ve liked meeting some of the people. And, one of the students who no longer works at the hotel has become a good friend of mine. I’ve also become close to the manager who arranged the classes and her entire family. So, it hasn’t been a complete loss. I also learned that I enjoy writing and Englishy things (which relates to my first job), I enjoy teaching (my second job), but I don’t enjoy teaching English to adults.
Another interesting note: This firmly establishes my employment attention span. Each of my traditional jobs I held for about 2 years. If I saw my resume I wouldn’t hire me. I’d know that I’d just leave after 2 years. I sure hope I don’t get tired of being a mom after 2 years. What will Beanie do?