In thinking about leaving the school that I have called home for the past 12 years, I think I have experienced every emotion known to humanity. Obviously, if I am looking for another job, it hasn’t been good. It has never been an easy job, especially when I work in an urban middle school with students who often have many issues to deal with on top of having a disability. It is a job that has pulled my heartstrings more often than I can count and I fully expect to be holding back tears on graduation night like I always do. Yet, over the course of years, I find the job more and more difficult. The kids haven’t really gotten any harder but my ability to bounce back from major and minor setbacks has been weakened. Then, the last few years have seen additional struggles involving people that should be on my side. It is a fight that I don’t know that I can do anymore. It is a fight that I don’t want to do anymore. While my job situation might be completely different than being a rock star, I’m willing to bet that John Taylor felt many of the same emotions when he was getting ready to leave Duran.
When I listen to interviews John has done about leaving Duran, I really find myself relating to much of what he has to say. First, he often stated about how he wanted to get out for a long time. I, too, have felt that way, long before I openly admitted it. So, why didn’t he? Why didn’t I? As I stated before, long histories make it tough to walk away, to leave. You know that when you leave, you are leaving behind people who you care about. John had to leave his band mates, his good friends. That can’t have been easy. He knew that people wouldn’t necessarily understand why he was doing it, no matter how much he explained. All people would see is that he left. He left Simon, Nick and Warren. He walked away. That sense of loyalty can be very tough to break free from. Second, he has talked about how it was something he had to do something for himself. I, too, feel this way. I, obviously, like kids and I like teaching. I love the idea of me helping these kids who need so much, but, I need to do something for me for awhile. Of course, the jobs that I’m looking at, right now, may still involve teaching, but they will be very different. Two of the schools are less urban and serve a different population. The other school would mean that I would be changing teaching roles to doing Social Studies. Thus, I would keep involved in education but in a different way, a different environment. John did the same thing by going solo. He didn’t quit music. He quit where he was. He changed the scenery and, by doing that, he changed the expectations people had for him and the expectations he had for himself.
Then, of course, there are similarities beyond what John ever said in any interview. John formed Duran Duran. He had this vision of himself as a very successful rock star and one who could not only handle all that comes with that job but embracing the role. I did the same thing, only with teaching. I wanted to be the super successful teacher, the one who not only wasn’t afraid of those at-risk kids but the one who embraced them, who loved, who helped them. Like John, I was successful. I am successful at it. Yet, there often comes time when walking away, when leaving is the only chance at coming back. I suspect that if John didn’t leave when he did, he wouldn’t have made it. Perhaps, then, he would have left Duran five years later and the band would have ended and Duran Duran music would have stopped in 2002. Instead, we had a reunion of the Fab 5 around that time. Maybe Roger and Andy would have never come back. When John left, he didn’t just twiddle his thumbs. He wrote and played his own music and dealt with issues that needed dealing with, issues that he couldn’t as a part of Duran. I feel this way, too…not that my life is like John’s or vice versa. I just feel like I need to take some time for myself, to evaluate my life and what I would like it to be from now on. I know that I can’t do that if I continue in the same position. I would be too drained to do that. Perhaps, then, like John, I would be able to return to a job like the one I’m in now. Nonetheless, it isn’t an easy process. It is tough, especially when nothing is certain. Heck, I may not even be offered a new job. Yet, at this time, I choose to follow John Taylor’s words and deeds by taking it one day at a time and by trusting the process.