You're Leaving Us?
Her big brown eyes locked my eyes.
"Is it true, you're leaving us?".
The whole room grew silent and stopped.
"I was away a couple of days and some of the other kids told me. You're leaving us. Is it true?".
The quiet pause of anticipation from the students gripped at my heart strings. I could feel a lump forming in my throat. This was the moment that I had anticipated and now dreaded.
Yes. Yes I am.
"Was it your choice?"
The question punched me right in the gut. Her question hung in the air for a moment. How do I say it? How do I admit that it was my choice? The opportunity presented itself and I took it. How do I tell her that I needed a change with out hurting her? How do I explain to students who have had so many walk out in their lives that I was now leaving.
I walked down the hallway later and looked at all the pictures of the graduating classes. I looked at each of the admins that have left, but most importantly I looked at intermediate teacher. I saw my own smiling face looking back at me. I will have the most amount of graduating classes on the wall this year. (Counting the one year that is not my face but the LTO while I was away on mat. leave)
Word this carefully now.
How do I say it?
"I am ready for a change. Just as you are about to graduate and head off into high school, I am continuing my learning too. If I stay in one building for too long, I might get stuck in a rut. That is one of the reasons why you have high school and elementary. There comes a time when you need to move on to grow, to learn and to change. I am at a place that I want to continue to learn."
She smiled at me. The class began a buzz of discussing high school now. My leaving the school just a blip on their teenaged mind's radar.
It is true.
I am leaving to a new school.
I have been quiet about it but now it is out there. In the community, in our school newsletter and now in my classroom. The journey to get here was a tough decision. My last staff meeting, my eyes fell upon each colleague. I knew these people, their families, their teaching style and we are a team. I truly am going to miss working with this fine group of people who in return know me, my personal tales and my sense of humour.
I still have mixed emotions but I know in my heart that I am making the right decision for me.
It is not on to bigger and better things, it is on to a new place to learn, change, and grow as a teacher.
Cheers to new beginnings and new learning!