As my real-life (non-blogging world) friends found out in early July, next year I will be leaving my position as a middle school ESL teacher & yearbook sponsor and moving on to teach English 1 (freshmen) at my alma mater. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d make it out of ESL easily, and so I kind of counted this first year on the transfer list as a learning experience…until it became a reality.
It’s been a long road already, and I still have several weeks of preparation (and many hours on Pinterest) before I’m fully in a high school mindset. But yesterday, my dad and I moved all of the stuff I’m taking with me into the back half of my living room.
If you’ve ever wondered what 5 years of teaching in one room will add up to, it’s your lucky day. I have photos.
This is what I took with me – it took TWO trips with my dad’s truck to fit it all.
Yes, I did box all of those books up, and no, that’s not my entire library. In fact, I left about half of my library for the new teacher – because middle schoolers don’t read the same stuff that high schoolers do/can.
I also left behind a pile of … we’ll call it *stuff* … for the new yearbook sponsor, as well.
But really, even though I left all the fabric and border up on the walls, my classroom looks like a barren landscape, which made me sad.
And you know what? It’s not just the classrooms, decor, and curriculum that I’ll be changing. I’ve also already started moving my virtual presence (because it’s 2014) over as well. Today, I posted a message on all of my Edmodo sites for last year’s students, letting them know that I’m leaving, and I’ve started a new classroom blog. Also, after consulting my favorite real-life blogging amiga, I decided that yes, I needed to start a new blog for student quotes.
So, I posted an announcement on The Quoteable Student (aka my students are awesome.) and opened my new home for student quotes: Stuff High Schoolers Say.
Which reminds me – my brain has already switched over from looking for things that are Berry-Green to things that are Mesquite-maroon. (And now the half of you that didn’t get it understand my two color-pops for this entry.) The bargain hunter inside of me never takes a day off, apparently.
The truth is, while I’m excited about all of these changes, I’m also absolutely freaking out. For a number of reasons, of course, which I’ve already told my therapist, so I won’t bore you with them. You’re welcome.
Change is never easy. But as I said in my interview, when asked why I wanted to move schools as well as teaching assignments after five years:
“Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to make the tough decisions and put yourself out there in a way that you’re not comfortable with. Yes, it’s nerve-wracking, but in the end it’s that first step that makes all the difference to what you can achieve. And hopefully, this whole transition will turn into a teachable experience for my students.”
I’m so good at interviewing, y’all.
But the point is – I have a lot, a lot, a lot of nervous energy about moving to MHS and teaching “regular” kids.So I’ve been trying to come up with little projects that will keep me busy and keep my mind off of all the things that could go wrong, in an effort to minimize the number of freak-outs I have. But today, I just embraced the emotions and the nervousness instead of trying to tramp it down, because ignoring it would have been impossible.
Because today, I moved out of my room at BMS and officially turned in my keys to that particular kingdom.
I have issues with letting go, as evidenced by the fact that I seriously spent probably 8 hours putting together binders for the two people taking over my positions. I left a very detailed and organized binder on top of a disorganized file box for my ESL replacement, for example.
But somehow, I need to find a way to let go of at least the majority of my ties at BMS. No matter how many boxes I have, I can’t take everything with me to my new job – most significantly the people I love there, whether they’re coworkers or students. I’m used to the kids moving on and becoming just one more set of photos on my wall, but now that I’m the one moving on, I feel like I’m abandoning them, somehow.
Ridiculous, I know. But what’s not so ridiculous is that I truly am leaving the teachers I’ve worked with for the past five years. And while the important ones will stick and we’ll find a way to still be a part of each others’ lives, I’m fully aware that it won’t happen like that with everyone. We grow, we learn, we move on…
Plus, let’s face it: just like every other teacher, I sometimes felt like I lived in my classroom. In a way, I’m moving homes – even if it’s just five minutes away, it’s still an adjustment.
So, my dear, dear friends and readers: please be patient with me for the rest of the summer. I’ll be a little delicate, and prone to emotional ramblings, and you’ll probably all see waaaaaaaaaaay too many posts and photos of projects that I’m doing for my new classroom, but it’s how I’m dealing.
Well, that and pinning inspirational quotes about change while listening to “Stays the Same” by Outasight on repeat.
See what I mean?