On a recent episode of the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast (as reported by People), the former Bachelorette opened up about her decision to “step out of the classroom.” As in the case of many people (not just teachers), her experience over the last two years of the Pandemic made her realize she needed to reevaluate her career.
“I was sitting down with my coworker,” shared Michelle, “and we were just kinda talking about this school year and how long we’ve been in survival mode, and my coworker kinda just asked me, ‘Well, Michelle, how long have you been in survival mode?’ And as she asked that, it kinda caught me off guard to actually stop and think how long I have been this position, and my response was two years.”
The reality star went on to explain the struggles she has faced as a teacher during the Pandemic — while also adjusting to life after her season of The Bachelorette. (She got engaged to fiancé Nayte Olukoya on the Season 18 finale, which aired in December 2021.)
“I’ve been in this survival mode two years, where I have just been flying by the seat of my pants, but really, not necessarily living or just surviving with the Pandemic, with going through these crazy but awesome changes as the show, with getting a fiancé,” Michelle continued. “There is just so much going on, and as I kinda sat and thought about that and thought about the position that I’m in, it really just highlighted the fact that there’s so much going on with our education system.”
As Michelle tearfully revealed her plans to leave teaching, she explained, “I really feel that, you know, as I move into this next year, I have decided to step out of the classroom. Bear with me here. This is going to be emotional, so I have decided to step out of the classroom.”
Michelle hasn’t completely ruled out a return to teaching at some point. “This doesn’t mean I’m never going to step back in the classroom,” she shared. “This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not going to continue working towards a Masters in Administration and potentially get back into that direct line of education.”
She went on, “But it’s me stepping away for a year to truly capitalize and push forward and put all my energy and efforts into my passion in a different way and really truly try to push for that change, because staying in the classroom and seeing and feeling that weight just shows me that something has to be done.”
In 2021, Michelle previously spoke about leading a “double life” as a television personality and a teacher. “Lesson planning in the hair and makeup chair on your way to the premiere brunch — it’s this total double life I feel like I’m living right now,” she said at the time. “It’s busy, it’s hectic, I’m definitely tired, but I will say that being back in the classroom has made me feel so much like myself.”
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“It’s nice because . . . this world can get kind of overwhelming at times,” she added. “It can get a lot, and sometimes you just need to be able to put it down, and I feel like being in the classroom, being with my students, when I’m there I’m truly Ms. Young.”
TELL US – DO YOU THINK MICHELLE IS MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION TO LEAVE TEACHING? HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU IN TERMS OF YOUR CAREER?
[Photo Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin]