Twenty-four years worth of stuff sorted through, purged, and packed. We relived a few memories along the way of kids who had come and gone. We made many trips to the dumpster. We hugged some kids and wiped away a little snot the last day of school. Some of them loved us...
This is the sign that was on my door for the last few weeks of school. One afternoon, the bathroom, the copy machine and the coke machine all had Out of Order signs on them. I decided to join them, and trust me....it was v.e.r.y out of order in my room!
The days at the end were bittersweet. I have loved the people I've worked with. I've loved my cozy room. I've even loved the kids. But in the end, it was mostly relief that I felt. We had a deadline of 9 pm on our last workday to have everything out, and we made it with hours to spare. The later it got, the more we threw in the garbage can. When the room started to echo, I knew that we were close.
This was my corner of the room. I took pictures when we were finished, but for some reason, none of them came out. A friend took these for me a few days later, and my desk has been pushed against the wall and the student desks pushed to the other side. The red cabinet door - a previous owner had painted them, and I thought the red was awful. So we kept them covered with blue paper.
The view from my desk. I will miss my Promethean board.
The side with my assistant's desk, the kids' desks, and the computers.
The view outside my door. Unique architecture for a school, but I always thought it was pretty. Our custodians kept it nicely landscaped and clean.
I have defined "done" in different ways...the empty room, the boxes stacked in my garage, the pile of clothes that I won't wear in public again...
They say when one door closes, another opens, and I am looking forward to that. I have had one interview, but hiring is frozen in our system right now. Some teachers are waiting to retire/resign, so it is hard to get an accurate picture of what is available.
The last five weeks of the school year - when I knew that I didn't have to go back - were the best ones of the entire year. It feels great not to be stressed and to be able to turn my head without pain. I feel for the people who chose to stay.
In the end, I packed what I wanted and disposed of the rest. But the most important things that I took didn't fit in a box. Each and every person that I worked with touched my life in some way...and that is the real treasure of what I took away.