We had Field Day on Thursday. I realized it was my last Field Day as a teacher at my school and in my district. I'm quite sure I'll experience other field days in my career, but to know this was the last time I'd be doing it with my current students, colleagues and in my current school was a bit heady.
We also had a couple of assemblies this week. We had the Flying Aces come on Friday and do a frisbee demonstration that was pretty awesome. As I sat there (ironically between two pretty tough students behaviorally--one was from my class and one was from another), it occurred to me that this was the last time I would sit in that gym with those kids too.
We had a half day on Friday for the Memorial Day weekend. I stayed about an hour after dismissal and then had a few errands to run. On my way home, it really hit me that this is it. I'm positive I will cry saying goodbye to my class on May 31. We've endured a lot together and I will miss them.
But as much as it hurts to make the change, I know that change is good. It is how we grow, how we learn and how we become the best version of ourselves that we can be. I would be a hypocrite to tell my students to push through and be true to themselves if I didn't follow my own advice.
It won't be easy. I know that. I don't labor under any delusion at all that this will be an easy or completely smooth transition time. Change is rarely ever easy in my experience. Alas, I also know that it's time for me to go. I have agonized about it for years. It is one of the reasons I am in my current school - I thought that was the change I needed and that it would help my restlessness, but it didn't.
This time, I think the difference will be that I won't have a choice but to be a learner. I am technically already an ESL teacher as my entire class (except for two boys) speak Spanish natively. The difference is, however, that I am a general education teacher too. My new position will allow me to be a support person and really help the EL students to assimilate and acclimate to English whereas my current position doesn't do that in the same way. It will be like completely starting over. This isn't a bad thing. (A former colleague of mine works in my new district and said they probably will also have me do New Teacher Academy which sounds weird for a 14 year veteran teacher, but since I have zero idea how they do things, I think that would actually be really helpful and beneficial!)
It's just hard to experience these "Lasts" and know that my time there is really winding down. I don't regret my decision to move on because I know deep down this is the path I need to be taking. But in the moment, looking into the eyes of my kiddos, it's hard to realize I probably will never see them again. As much as we might promise we will come back, in reality, it rarely happens.
I love these group. I have never had such a compassionate group of students before. They are so caring toward each other and see the world so uniquely and they have shared that with me. It will be hard to let that go.