Well, there it is spelled out in big letters. We are moving to California! As I mentioned in my last post, Tyler and I finally settled on our plans for next year and have made up our minds to move to San Diego. This decision was an extremely difficult one to reach. I had an extended internal conflict with myself about it that resulted in many weeks of silence on this blog (sorry, readers). However, in the end, we knew that the decision to leave Alaska and forge new roads in California was the best for us.
Alaska has been one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to Tyler and I. We've made invaluable memories that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. We've had new experiences, made new friends, and learned what life is all about in a native village. As a Newhalen local said to me a few days ago, "It's a shame that you're leaving. You two really fit in here." We feel the same.
However, when a wonderful job opportunity presented itself to Tyler and when I started to ponder the future of my career, we began to realize that life in bush Alaska might not be for us right now. We are both interested in exploring different fields and we saw that California would be the best place to cultivate new dreams.
I have nothing negative to say about life as a bush Alaska teacher. I attained the dreamiest job an educator could hope for (five students, what?!). My life here is incredible; I feel free, accepted, and part of a tight-knit community. I've fallen in love with my students and feel so close to those who I've come to know. If I knew that I was supposed to be a teacher for the rest of my life, I would stay in a heartbeat. However, I know that's not the case. There are other things I need to be pursuing right now.
If you are a teacher or are soon to become one, I highly recommend that you consider teaching in Alaska. My personal decision to leave has nothing to do with the experience I've had in Newhalen. Our choice is entirely personal. If you are a passionate educator, if you don't mind small-town life, and if you're willing to try new things, Alaska is the place for you. The Lake and Peninsula School District is dreamy and chock-full of people who care desperately about students. I feel more than taken care of as a teacher in this district.
I still have three more months left here and there are more stories to come. I just wanted to share our announcement and report that this blog will be coming to a close in May. I hope that it has and will continue to help future teachers of Alaska. Alaska is a very special place that provides a rare and wonderful opportunity for adventurous educators. I wouldn't trade the experience I've had here for the world!