Saturday, July 14, 2012

Leaving My Classroom

I never thought leaving my classroom would be so emotional.  I actually shed some tears as Jim, my colleague and close friend, said to me yesterday morning, "It's your last day here!  How do you feel?" Let's be honest.  I cried.  It was a little more than shedding some tears.  Room 21 at El Carmelo School was my home.  In my ten years of teaching in The Bay Area, nine were spent at EL Carmelo. Seven of those years were in room 21.

From mid-August to early-June to each year, the seats were filled with third graders who came to school each day with varied levels of readiness, skills, and life experiences.  Two doors down, my planning partner and grade-level colleague, Michelle, was always available as a friend, co-worker, ear, and voice of reason in our school that we so fondly referred to as The Looney Bin.  That reference did not refer to the students, rather to ourselves and the absolute craziness that comes along with managing/teaching 23 children for six hours each day, communicating with all of their parents, attending meetings, sitting on countless committees, keeping on top of planning lessons and assessing class work, and not going completely batty all at the same time.  I'll admit, I did go completely batty at least a handful of times over the years!

I'll always look back on El Carmelo and room 21 as the place where I truly learned how to become a teacher.   I'll miss the visits from former students and families.  I'll miss planning with Michelle.  I'll miss knowing the name of nearly every child on the playground.  Most of all, I'll miss the raw enthusiasm and innocence of third grade.  It's been nine great years, and it's time to move on.   My next chapter starts just down the street from El Carmelo at Palo Verde School.  Come August 16th, you can find me in room 20 teaching fifth grade.

My Classroom- Room 21 at El Carmelo,  May 22, 2012
Room 21, ready for new teacher, Mr. J, to take the reigns.

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