I'm at work long after I could be home.
I have spent the entire day cleaning out my classroom and saying goodbye to everyone from the cleaning ladies to the cafeteria ladies, and all the teachers in between.
While it was a great excuse to get hugs from the cuties I work with, it is a little bittersweet after 22 years at the same school.
They gave me a great send off and I tried to be funny and not cry like a little girl at the morning faculty meeting.
Channeling my inner Spock helped.
After the meeting, it was off to dissect a classroom and the 22 years of stuff it contained.
It's no wonder teachers are poor. As I take apart this room I find that I purchased about every other item.
It is amazing what you find when you start cleaning a classroom ...
- Pictures of kids from so many years ... pictures you thought to save at the moment, and then forgot about, ... but once rediscovered, you can't quite bring yourself to toss them.
- Binders of this and that, empty ones, stuffed ones, dusty ones you once valued, but obviously did not need, ... the binders in the store room chart the whims and fads of the education business. Oh they were HOT at the time, but not for long.
- All manner of office supplies that you really could have used this year if you had just known they were behind that big tub of specimens. Seriously, a few weeks ago I would have killed for a few paperclips and now I am drowning in them.
- My favorite discoveries, besides the old photos were some student projects that were just so cool at the moment, you had to keep them to show the kids next year, and then they got pushed behind the new crop of cool stuff. You hold the project, see the name, and remember that rascal who made it.
Lots of changes here ..., all self-induced to prevent stagnation and find some new challenges.
All good, but not without pain.
I am leaving some very special people behind ... (ya' know who you are). I used to do that all the time in the Park Service, but it has been a while since I did any moving on.
So where am I going?
I'm still teaching, still in the local area, but ... on an island in the Gulf of Florida.
I will be the entire high school science department and AND part of the middle school science department at Florida's smallest public school.
More on that later, I still have boxes to pack and junk (but no student photos) to throw away.