My room is packed up. Lights are off and door is locked. Keys are turned in to the office. Today, I officially checked out of the school that I called my home for the last 16 years. It was strange leaving, knowing that I would not be returning there to start the 2014-2015 school year. I am going to be a Math TOSA (teacher on special assignment) for my district which means I will be going to a new school next year. Packing up was difficult. I got rid of a lot of things. I needed to downsize tremendously because my new room is more like an office and not a classroom. Files were sifted through. Duplicates were tossed. It was hard trying to figure out what to save and what to get rid of. Teachers are notorious for hanging on to stuff. I finally had to tell myself that if I hadn’t touched the item in the last 3 years or more, then I should get rid of it. My dilemma is that I don’t know where I am going to go after my year as a TOSA is up. So, I wanted to hang on to certain books and resources in case I am back in the classroom in two years. I had a lot of boxes and thought I would need to rent a storage unit for a year. For a small, closet-sized space it was going to cost me over $1,000 to store. Fortunately, my friend, Nicole, came with me when I was ready to move out of my classroom. She talked me out of bringing my shelves and my plastic bins/crates. We combined boxes and downsized even further. I am happy to say that I didn’t need to rent a storage unit after all. Everything I packed is now at my new school. 🙂
I am reflecting on my 16 years at Shoal Creek Elementary-home of the Otters! I was one of the original staff members who opened the school so many years ago. I am going to miss the people I worked with. Everyone there is an amazing teacher. I have learned from each of them and have improved my teaching practices as a result of my interactions with them. I have so many happy memories that I am taking with me. It will be strange not seeing my friends (who I think of as family) next year. I am also going to miss the students. They are the main reason why I love going to work each day. I am going to miss the smiles, hugs, and love notes that I often received from them. I managed to save a few in my file box. I know when I am feeling low, I can read those notes to remind me of why I am doing what I do. I am truly going to miss the connections with teachers and students at Shoal Creek.
Although driving out of the parking lot and away from the school was bittersweet, I know this new adventure is going to be a great experience for me. I am excited by the possibilities of being a math coach for teachers. I am still not sure what my new job entails. It’s a work in progress. There will be lots of opportunities for messing up. But, I am learning that mistakes are necessary in order for growth to happen. So, next year, I am going to embrace all my mistakes. I am going to remember to persevere. I am going to make the most of my opportunity. All I can think is that my new job is going to be AWESOME! 🙂