Well, the kids are gone, there’s the slightest smell of furniture polish and clorox wipes in the rooms, tables are stacked up and chairs are up against the heater.
Why am I not happy?
It’s the last day of school for goodness sake! Sure I’ve got a bunch of work to do before I check out, but that’s how it always is. And yes, I’m always a little bit melancholy at the end of a school year, but this is different. I’m sick to my stomach not wanting things to go nervous.
1) I’ll have 34 fifth graders in my room. The most ever put into this room was 29 three years ago and that was only for a half day at a time. Now, my schedule says “co-teacher” but that requires more then just a “oh what are you doing today” in passing kind of relationship. I’m not sure of that, not sure how we’ll do so many things with 34 students. We’ll do it, and it will be fine, but that realization is keeping me up at nights right now.
2) My daughters will be at separate building for the first time ever. My oldest will be 10 miles away from me, and I’ll have to trust teachers have I’ve said hi to one time, one freekin’ time. Some of you may be thinking “that’s how it always is”, but when you teach in a small community, you know people better then that. This school is small, which gives us that benefit of working and playing with the people who educate my daughters. I’ve never EVER worked with these people before and that’s scary as hell to entrust my daughter to them.
3) I won’t get to see my students grow up. With the high school moving up the road, my “kids” move away at 8th grade. For some of them, I probably won’t see them ever again unless our paths cross at the store or something like that. No, I’m not buds with all the kids, but yet, it’s fun to see them progress from middle schoolers to high schoolers, to watch them mature into young adults.
4) Change, period. I don’t like how this was handled, I don’t like how I feel about so much not knowing, I don’t like how there were countless meetings about whole grade sharing then suddenly the meetings stopped. Or to be more accurate, suddenly the meetings were top down meetings, not community ones anymore. I don’t like how one of our teachers was treated in the hiring process, being passed over when a suitable job was there. I don’t like how our coaches, coaches who have won conference titles, have taken countless teams to state tournaments were simply told “nope, you don’t have a job anymore coaching”.
I want the best for my own kids along with each and every student that I work with. I want to believe whole heartedly that this will be good for them, this change will benefit them 5, 10, 20 years down the road.
I just don’t know that I’m there quite yet.
So, if I seem cranky or distracted, I’m simply mourning what I’ve known to be true for the last 14 years, hoping that in the next 14, that this moment of nervous unease was just that, only a moment’s worth.