The "End" of an Era

Published by Lydia Richmond on

Today was the last day of my face-to-face teaching career for an undetermined amount of time. As in, I don’t know when or if I’ll ever go back to the physical classroom. Today was weird because I never got emotional — and I am a freakishly emotional person.

Usually, I cry over everything. I cried just yesterday THINKING about the song Alex would sing for me at the Mother’s Day Tea at her school in a couple of weeks. But leaving a career I’ve had for the last 11 years? Nothin’.

It was a fabulous day. My first and second periods threw me a “culture day,” (we don’t call them parties – but you have to have been in my class to understand why); my second period gave me a sweet going-away card; my third period helped me clean my room and wouldn’t let me move anything; students wrote notes all over the board telling me they loved me; my friends graced me with a cookie cake (they know me well), flowers, and a gift card; and multiple co-workers/friends came by to give me hugs and tell me they’ll miss me. And during all of that, my students continued to do the assigned work — and on the last day of school before Spring Break! I have truly been blessed this semester.

I cleaned my room, filling buckets and boxes with items I wasn’t willing to leave for 5 weeks while the students finish out the school year.

I set up my substitute folder so that Mr. T (my sub and former teacher!) would be completely prepared for at least the first 2 weeks of my class.

I chatted with my neighbor-teacher-friend who stayed until the last minute I walked out.

And then we loaded the car and were on our way.

Aaron looked at me and said, “So, how does it feel?” My response? I just don’t know. None of it seems real. Right now, it feels like Friday night before Spring Break. It feels like I just ate too much good Mexican food (because I did) and am chilly because it’s 50 degrees outside. Right now, it feels like normal life.

But in a little over a week, I’ll see Aaron and A off for school, and I’ll stay home. My guess is that it won’t feel too strange. The 2nd day of that routine might be a little more strange. But, I’m assuming that by day three, I’ll be thinking, “Woah – I’m really not going back.”

A good friend at work today suggested that the real ODD moment will happen in August when everyone returns to work, and I don’t. I think Traci is right.

And so, I begin to say goodbye to an era and hello to a new one. I have wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for so long (well, 6 years to be exact), and here’s my chance. I will still be ridiculously busy with a newborn and an online position. But I will miss the LIVE face-to-face moments that I love:

* culture days (because parties are just inappropriate)
* WRZB
* That’s What She Said jokes
* closing the door to tell a story because we’re CERTAIN someone in administration will walk by and take our entire conversation out of context
* making up dances to the most up-to-date songs and showing off our skilllllz at the pep rallies
* reaching the impossible-to-reach student just because I love Metallica or watch Glee or know how to clog
* the actually very tasty chicken quesadillas and “jazzy rice”
* that buzz in the air on Fridays for football games
* dancing with Kristi in the hall every time the fight song is played (and literally yelling at kids who don’t participate)
* dressing up with my 500 building posse for all the ridiculously fun spirit week days
* finding a way to make my A stories apply to my daily lesson
* shaking a fist at the “Central Office camera” in the ceiling of my room
* laughing with the kids over the numerous “What happens in 502 stays in 502” inside jokes
* realizing how much I love these kids who drive me nuts

So while I know that I’m going to still be teaching students in some way, shape or form, and while I know that raising my children from home is an invaluable gift I’ll be giving my family, the thought of giving “my room” up & students to someone else makes my heart ache.


2 Comments

Dropped the ball - Cluttered Genius · May 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

[…] A little over three years ago, I quit teaching in the face-to-face world. I was hugely pregnant with my second child, and I could barely walk. My husband and friends urged me to go ahead and take the remainder of the school year for my maternity leave. Spring Break was late that year, so the timing was pretty decent. […]

Thankful: Working from home - Cluttered Genius · November 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm

[…] years ago — almost 5 now! — I took the leap and chose to leave my face-to-face teaching position to stay home with our first son. For about a month before he was born, I worked from my couch with […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *