Monday, June 25, 2012

Closing a Chapter

So many emotions. This past week has been FILLED with strong emotions.

Relief at finally being finished the school year and the chaotic activities of the past few weeks.
Sadness at saying goodbye to my students, their families and my colleagues.
Hope for the changes to come and our move.
Uncertainty as the "for sale" sign is put on the lawn.
Excitement for the coming trip home to meet my new nephew.
Trepidation at the uncertain future of my career, as I have no job lined up for the fall.
 So many emotions.

I spent most of two days packing up my classroom. Sorting out my personal belongings from those staying at the school. Passing on the books and curriculum to the new teacher (overwhelming her I am sure!) Packing my "teacher stuff" as organized as possible so it is ready for the move and I will be able to find what I need whenever I will need it next! My husband would have made me leave everything (he hates my "stuff" and thinks I hoard everything...not quite true...).

I made some tough choices and left a lot more than I had originally planned. I only had my pickup truck and didn't want to make two trips, so I was limited, especially in the furniture department. I left my rocking chair (which matched the curtains I left). I left behind my plastic kid chairs (that I picked up for $2 at walmart last fall and the kids used during Daily 5). I sifted through my art supplies, telling myself that would be the easiest to replace. As it was, this is how my truck looked when I got home.
Two boxes are removed already. It started to downpour right after this picture.

Kind of sad to see it all stacked up in my basement like that!
On the last day of school, I decided to start the day with our carpet meeting and then pulled out my guitar and we sang our favourite songs together, as I knew it would be our last time. A lot of moms were hanging around the halls. They stopped in and sat to watch us enjoy our music time. When we went back to our desks, the kids asked if they could give me their presents. I said sure, pulling up the chair into the middle of our ring of desks. The moms all stayed, pulling out their cameras, which should have been a clue. My EA handed me the first present. I unwrapped it and the tears started to spill. My class had been secretly making this beautiful tablecloth with their handprints on it. Each child signed it. They had pulled in the other teachers, hiding it in their room, distracting me on field day so I wouldn't notice that my entire class was missing!  It was really touching how much work and love went into this.


A few more homemade gifts and cards were shared. Lastly, one of the students handed me a card and all the cameras went up. Inside was this little printed photo. I recognized it immediately, as I had posted a link on my facebook about a month ago, talking about this site. They are called "Litographs" and the artists use the text of an entire book to make a print that can be hung on the wall. I thought it was such a cool concept and had said I loved the print for Jane Austen's Emma. One mom saw it on my facebook and all the moms chipped in and ordered it for me. I had to try really hard not to sob at that point. The fact that these women had taken the time to get to know me and knew this was something I would love, be able to bless my new house with, and remember the class every time I looked at it, well, it was overwhelming. The print is on its way and I can't wait to see it!

Later in the day, we had our Grade Eight graduation dinner and ceremony. The grade eight class was my first class that I had for a full year, all to myself! My principal always says that your first class is like your first love. There are many reasons, sometimes good and sometimes bad, that you will always feel connected to them. This was my class. I taught them in grade five and six. We knew each other well. We continued to work together when I bumped down to grade one and two. I had all of the girls from grade seven and eight in my choir for the last two years. Needless to say, we are close. This graduation was the toughest for me. It was great to hear all of the memories and see the pictures and how they have grown. I even sang a goodbye song with the grade eight girls at the graduation ceremony and we made it through without tears! I didn't even cry until two of my girls were hugging me goodbye at the end and they were bawling into my shoulder. That got me! 
The Grade 7/8 class made me two very special gifts. They each recorded a video message for me of their favourite memories and blessings for my move. That was sweet! They also made a memory book with letters from each of them and room in the back to add my new memories. To add to the personal nature, they made it in a notebook (I have a slight obsession with cute notebooks) and glued buttons to the centre of the flowers (Daisies are my favourite flower and I have a more than slight obsession with buttons!) Super sweet that they knew and remembered those details!

Overall, it was an emotionally draining week, but things are looking up. We have our first house showing on Wednesday! I am finishing my straighten and clean of the house and can now enjoy the sunshine with my long awaited summer reads. In about two weeks, we will be headed east to see my family and have a break at the beach!


1 comment:

  1. What lovely parting gifts! Sounds like you had a great last few days. Emotional, but great.