Today I am pleased and honored to present a guest post by my friend Holly Lamont. Holly is only 40 years old and she has had to retire from the job she loved because of metastatic breast cancer. This post was her Facebook status on June 5th, and she has graciously allowed me to reprint it as a guest post. I’ll step aside and let Holly introduce herself: “I am a 40 year old retired teacher from Reading, Pa. I have a 5 year old son, a 10 year old daughter and an 18 year old step son and a wonderful husband. I am fighting stage IV breast cancer. It is currently in my bones, liver and lung.”
This day is the day. My last day. My resume now reads, retired first grade teacher for the RSD. My only job now is cancer ninja. 5 and a half years of education, 16 years in a classroom, gallons of blood, sweat and tears, thousands of children’s faces, hundreds of coworkers and friends, four principals, two schools, countless papers graded, books read. Hundreds of pledging to the flag every morning and singing My Country Tis of Thee. Thousands of dollars spent on endless items for the classroom. Sleepless nights, tired days, wiping tears, telling kids I don’t tie first grade shoes, dozens of chairs painted, hundreds of thousands of pins on Pinterest for school, one id picture used year after year, hoping I inspired someone to be a good person.
Things I have learned…
* I had good bladder control.
* Teaching was way fun before NCLB.
* I learned as much as I taught.
* I ALWAYS heard duty and do do.
* Teachers are not appreciated the way they should be.
* Need to name a newborn? Teach. You will find out which names you will not name said child.
* Some of the greatest teaching moments are located no where in a teacher’s edition.
* You can’t save them all.
* I hated parent teacher conferences, but learned so much from them.
* Report cards suck.
* People who complain about teaching are completely clueless as to what it takes to be a teacher.
* Children should be learning way before they hit Kindergarten… hello parents.
* Sometimes you just have to read for FUN.
And I could go on and on….
* I am pissed off that I have to end my teaching career due to cancer. I was suppose to retire by having had all MY children graduate high school and go off to college. The youngest did graduate… from Pre K.
So now I will spend my time fighting this disease that is so determined to overtake my body. Screw you cancer. I hate that you have taken my career from me. My heart and soul was Mrs. Lamont and now I have to be full time cancer ninja. Instead of buying things for the class, I am paying medical bills. Instead of searching for new things for my students to learn, I am searching for any new studies or breakthroughs in the cancer world.
I cannot say it enough that I hate you.
So I start the last day of my teaching career as a final Mrs. Lamont and end my day at the oncologist as the cancer ninja.
The final step will be cleaning out my classroom after school is over next week.
Mrs. Lamont/ Cancer Ninja