Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

The title of this post may be deceptive.  This post is not about ending a relationship- well, not a human to human relationship.  It's about breaking up with my 12 years of collected teacher-things.

During the first day of packing up my classroom, I cried.  I cried quite a bit.  I honestly felt like I was mourning my life as a classroom teacher.  Yes, I will still be in education, but if you're not in the classroom, you're not a classroom teacher.  Taking care of and managing a classroom of 20 or more children is unlike any other job in the world- including any other job in education.  So, on the first day of packing up, I could not get rid of anything.  I just cried and moved stuff around.

On the second day of packing up, I was able to recycle many old files that I haven't touched in years.  I also was able to pack up my books and determine which ones were worth keeping and which were worth donating.  I left most of them for the teacher taking over my classroom.

On the third day, the recycling and tossing out of old items became easier.  My pile of stuff to keep had whittled down immensely.

On the fourth day, I was tossing everything and giving it all away!  Then, I realized I wasn't sad and mourning over my teacher things.  Rather, I was mourning my identity as a classroom teacher and mentor to 24 new kids each year.  My memories with my kiddos will last a lifetime, as will our impact on each other.  Things can be tossed and really don't matter.

Here's a better look in pictures…

It's been over a week now, and I still cannot
toss out my plan book.  It's sitting on my desk
at the district office.  I plan to toss it when I
head into the office on Friday. 

This is a crate of my grad school research notes.  Look carefully and you'll see
names like Calkins, Fletcher, Wood-Ray… still my favorite literacy gurus today!
I was finally able to recycle these on the third day of cleaning out the room.

This, I kept!  My final grad school action research project.  I looked
at the difference between student self-selected topic writing and
prompted writing:  a topic still near and dear to my heart as a teacher.
This is still with me.  I could't bear to part with the hard copy. 

Flat Stanley was my favorite project as a 2nd and 3d grade teacher.  I held on
to this file for years!  On the fourth day of packing up, I finally found the courage
toss and recycle it. 

I'll miss Palo Verde.   I hope to be back often!  This little card hung in the
corner of the whiteboard.

For teacher appreciation day in 2013, one of my
dear students made this for me.  I loved it. 

While I was cleaning things out, a couple of my former students rode by on
their skateboards.  They popped in to say hi.  Naturally, I put them to work!
Here they are erasing the white board that all my students wrote on during
the last day of school.  

This was my pile of stuff "to keep" on day three of packing.

Love this quote.  It hung between the smart board and
white board at all times.  Such an important message.  

Finally, I whittled the pile down to this.  This is all
I brought to my new office.  

The final, and hardest thing to do was leave.  Breaking
up is hard to do, but a new opportunity awaits! 

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