School has finally ended! It's been just over a week and I am finally coming down from the "End of the School Year Adrenaline Rush". People in this field know exactly what I am talking about. These last few weeks always have you on overdrive....the meetings...the never ending to do list..report cards....the goodbye's...end of year events that keep you at school way past your contract hours. The feeling that it ALL must get done and by a certain date. Although I just finished my 9th year of teaching...I am still surprised by how much has to get done. Like most teachers I know....I spent my last several weeks on auto pilot...going through the motions. So now that a week has gone by I am coming down from this adrenaline rush...and man it can be a hard fall. I have spent the week..exhausted..sick and in tears as I am finally just now processing all the emotion that comes with a school year ending.
Last week I had dinner with my good friend J .. while we were sitting at dinner I was going on and on about all my disappointment in the school district and my principal. You see I put in a leave of absence....so my ending of the year was it for me..especially in terms of teaching students with autism. I was telling her all about the lack of goodbye's....the not even one Thank you for all you have done..... the district not able to get someone to fill my position so we could have a great transition..... when all of a sudden she looked at me and said ...."I can't wait for you to have a new story". She stopped for a brief second and said don't take this personally but you have had the same story since you went into teaching and I am just so excited for you to find a new story this next year...a different one. WOW! That stopped me in my tracks and you know what..she is SO right.
I get to leave teaching and embark on one of my Mondo Beyondo dreams next year....and although I can't share what it is just yet....please know I will soon. I am excited for this new opportunity and can't wait to explore all the possibilities that will come with it. At times I still can't believe it is real. However I would be lying if I didn't say that with closing one door and opening another comes some anxiety....apprehension and of course our favorite friend Fear! I have had many visits this week from those negative voices.....asking...are you sure you can do this...and what if you don't have what it takes?? I listen to them for a short time and know that they are all part of the process. You see...I have been a teacher for 9 years.....that is who I am and that is what I have done. I know how to be a teacher. I know what being a teacher looks like....what that means.....what my role is. This new role...well it is just that new. I don't know what it looks like.....I am not entirely sure what it means....but I am looking forward to learning all about it. I am looking forward to writing and telling a new story. I am filled with anticipation of what this new story will bring.
Four years ago next month I moved up to Seattle. I attended a training that first week I was here and at the time as I was sitting there I remember thinking.....I want to do this someday. Well that someday has come and I would be lying if I didn't say that I am very proud of myself for taking a chance and embarking on some risks. I love how when you ask the Universe...she delivers. I think what I am most excited about is that when we dream....even when we try our best we still can never quite imagine how big that dream can get. So although I have reached what I "dreamed" four years ago......I just know that this is all the beginning of something much bigger than I could have ever imagined for myself. Isn't that just exciting??
The picture is from the last day of school. It is all of my students and para's. I love my students and I am going to miss being a classroom teacher. I will miss knowing that I had a direct impact on their learning and growth. I will miss the community I created with the students and parents year after year. I will most certainly miss all of the stories....the laughter those kids provide me day after day. But like I said.....it is time for some new stories.......