“Make sure you have that week off,” I remember Casey* telling Melissa. “It’s always important to take a week to yourself before switching jobs.”
I was in the backseat of Casey’s car as she gave Melissa that advice. Melissa had just put in her two weeks notice at the childcare center we all were teachers at. Like many people in the field, she was setting up to leave ECE to become a nanny. I was week three or four into my two-month notice, giving the director as much time as possible to find a replacement before I left as well. I was desperately afraid that all the work I did with my students (which included a child with autism, a child whose parents were going through divorce, and a Chinese immigrant who had just started learning English and just stopped being afraid of the world) would be undone by a string of temporary teachers. I would later find out that it took them all summer to find a replacement for me once I was gone. Apparently very few people want to lead a packed Pre-K class filled with extenuating circumstances for less than what a full-time Hobby Lobby cashier makes.
My last day at that job was three weeks before my wedding. I spent that time packing up an apartment, finalizing a wedding with a whole bevy wrenches in the machinery, and filling out the paperwork for my new job in my new state. I would get married, fully move to the new apartment, spend two weeks abroad, and go right back to the rat race — with, of course, that one-week break in between. Continue reading