I made the 45 minute drive to my elementary school to begin the very weird and sad process of closing the room out for the summer.
I knew it would be weird. I knew it would be hard. This was a very weird year. I left a job I'd known for 13 years where I knew a huge percentage of the staff, all the rules, policies, etc and went to a job where everything was new and I didn't know very many people at all. That, in and of itself, was a big change.
Then to have the pandemic hit and uproot us right in the "sweet spot" of the year was tough. That "sweet spot" is that time when everyone is really in the groove -- the students know the expectations and routines and you can really show some real progress. (I've often noted that most of the real progress my kids make is between February and May.)
Again, I knew it would be hard. I just didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. I walked into my room and it was seriously like being in a time warp. EVERYTHING, except for one small box that had been moved so they could vacuum, was exactly as I left it. There were even papers on the tech stand where I was quickly writing out lesson plans before the pandemic smacked into us here in Michigan.
It was surreal and weird and I did not enjoy it at all.
I spent about 90 minutes there. If I had really wanted to, I could have spent another 30 minutes and really called that room done. But I will be back tomorrow and will spend time finally cleaning out the filing cabinets that I didn't do this fall when I started. It was too overwhelming.
What I did today was spend the first hour cleaning out the closets from all the crap left over from the previous occupant (and entire rolling cabinet full of junk plus several boxes were left for the custodians to haul away) and then about a half hour putting my own things in the newly cleaned out closets. I've labeled my small group table and rocking chair because I don't want to be hauling them home (where would I even put them?!) and organized the other cabinet area.
Tomorrow I will clean up the technology stand, finish with my desk and tackle the filing cabinets (which will take forever, I think). By the time I leave there tomorrow, however, I will be turning in my key and closing the door on that school for this year.
(We are still "in session" until next Wednesday but as I won't be back in my school again before August, it's still closing the year.)
Wednesday I'll be home because I have a couple of meetings to attend and my own daughter has to take her things up to her school to close out HER year. Thursday I think I will be finally tackling my middle school room. *sigh*
This is definitely not how I was expecting this year to end and the raw emotions I have about it -- on top of all of the chaos in our country right now -- just hurts.