24 June 2008

Twelve boxes

So I'm done. I've packed up my classroom. All of the posters have been packed away and the only thing left on my desk is a couple of pencils and my planning binder. Six years of teaching at my school is now tucked into a storage room until my new classroom is ready for me in August.

I spoke to one of the moms in my class this afternoon. Whenever I get messages from parents in my mailbox I always feel dread. You see, my parents are VERY involved. I get calls for everything. Notes almost every day. Surprise visits are normal. So this afternoon when I saw the green message in my box I felt dread. But as a good, responsible teacher I mustered up the energy to phone.

Little E's mom was concerned that her son wanted to return to his home school. She wanted to know if there had been anything going on in the class. Maybe it was the other kids or someone was bothering him. Then I asked, "Could it be because I'm leaving?" And then she said that she didn't want to come out and say it, but she definitely thought it was.

And then I felt my heart break.

Little E is a great kid. Super energetic, smart, funny, but would drive most teachers crazy. I've managed his boisterous behaviour by making him the kid that collects anything and everything. He delivers messages around the school for me. He gets to stamp my tests and pile things in order for me. He has sat at the front of the room for most of the year, right in front of my main work table. I've joked time and time again that he's going to spend the rest of his life in grade five since he can't sit still and pay attention and he thinks that it's hilarious. We banter about our opposing hockey teams (Mr. JB has brought so much sports knowledge in my life! I totally have street cred with the boys!). And because he likes me (well, his mom has mentioned more than once that she's convinced that he has a crush on me -- how cute!) he listens to me and knows when he's gone too far.

I don't regret my decision to apply for the job that I got. And as I've tried to explain to a room of ten year olds: if I didn't apply for the job I would regret it for the rest of my life. I've tried to explain to them that after six years of doing the same thing I was getting so bored. All of this makes sense to adults, but to kids I'm just leaving.

I really hope that the next two days aren't going to be too painful. I know that the school will be presenting me with my going away gift at an assembly tomorrow afternoon so hopefully I won't dissolve into tears in front of 400 kids.

I'm not good at saying goodbye and I'm definitely not good with change, but I guess I have no choice since I'm definitely not going to unpack all of those boxes.


  1. You did right to follow your heart and go for that new job. I hope the goodbyes aren't too painful.

    I never like saying goodbye either.

  2. You'll do fine...and if you do cry it will just make all the kids love you even more.

    As for little E, you and I both know what he needs. He was fine in elementary school, but as he gets older, a little ADHD medication would make his life easier.

    I'm not sure how you suggest it, but if you aren't going to be there anymore, someone needs to know so he doesn't end up the kid who gets in trouble forever.

  3. I agree with Aurelia. If you do cry, they'll just see it as a sign that you really care about them. I think it's great that you went for the new job and got it, and the fact that you are sad to be leaving, and that they're sad to be losing you, shows what a good teacher you are.

    I'm sorry about the antibiotics, too. I've been there, and the side effects are the pits. I had to take TONS of acidophilus to have an effect . . . but maybe that's because I'm NOT as good at pills and I'd forget the probiotics for a few days, until I was in real trouble . . .

  4. Awwww :) You sound like a fantastic teacher, and those kids were lucky to have you. But now you need to go spread the wealth, God wants you to touch as many young souls as you possibly can in this lifetime!