Friday, June 10, 2011

Final Thoughts From This Location

No pics today.

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.
So anyway... it's transition time here.

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.

Break's over.


Deb said...

An island in the Gulf--could anything be more Pure Floridacracker?! Good luck and congrats on seizing the opportunity. The kids there are in for a treat.

Miz S said...

Josh is not allowed to ever, ever know how much I have spent on books and supplies for my classroom.

FC, I think it is very cool that you are challenging yourself this way. I weep for your former colleagues, but I rejoice for your future students.

LibraryGirl62 said...

That sounds so awesome! We have a small school here in Collier-in Everglades City-that has 165 students k-12. That is one kid for every 10,000,000 mosquito to feast on :)
Have fun in your new digs!

tai haku said...

Wow - bittersweet times indeed. I can't imagine what it's like to leave 22 years of memories like that but I also can't imagine how cool working on an gulf island like that would be for you (actually I sort of can!).

Sharon said...

Bittersweet, but excited for you. Sounds like a great adventure ahead :)

threecollie said...

An fitting. Best wishes!

Sayre said...

I know saying goodbye is hard, but when you start next school year, you will be looking nowhere but forward to your new challenges! That's why you're doing this, isn't it? Enjoy your summer!

Oh, are you still going to be a virtual school teacher as well?

cinbad122 said...

Sniff! :(

Pablo said...

My admiration, respect, and envy of your continues to grow!

Island Rider said...

Lucky kids. And they get to live on a island, too!

Island Rider said...

PS So, I see you are going to be a shark. Does this mean that Mrs. FC will get used to you being late every night so you can go fishing after work?

cndymkr / jean said...

Congratulations. You have given so much and now will continue to give. Good luck. So what island?

edifice rex said...

Best Wishes!!!

Floridacracker said...

It does seem to fit somehow doesn't it?

Miz S,
Your secret is safe with me.

Library Girl,
Wow, that is a very similar situation.

I bet you can.
But seriously, ... you WORK? I thought all you did was travel to amazing places!

I am all about adventure.

I like the sound of that too.

No, virtual school is out now. I did do it part time this year and still like the concept, but from now on, I'm focused on those island kids and how to help them.

You know who you are.

Thanks pal. I will try and do you proud.

Cathy S,
LOL! Well, you know my fishing buddy Captain Denny teaches there too ... so, it could happen.
I have a feeling that with all those preps and being the new guy, I won't have time to breathe much less fish this first year.
Yes, you are correct on my sharkhood.

Thank you for those kind words. It is the same island that Travis McGee lives on.

Thanks girl!

Joey B said...

I wish I'd had you for a teacher... but the more I think about it, I guess I have.

I've learned a lot from you, even though I don't post many comments, I read all of your posts. I miss Florida a lot at times. It's part of who I am. Your blog gives me the fix i need being surrounded by all these New Englanders that couldn't tell a coontie from coquina.

There aren't enough like you in the educational system. Good luck. I can't wait to see what comes next.

robin andrea said...

Bright futures and sad farewells. After 22 years, I can't imagine leaving a job and starting over, but on an island in the gulf? I guess I could get used to that!

I was always one of those people in staff meetings that sounded like I was going to cry, even when I just reading some reports out loud. I wish I had an inner Spock to channel. You lucky man!

Suzanne said...

I'm new to your blog, found you through Julie Zickefoose, and have enjoyed going back to read your posts. I know I would have loved to have had you for a teacher and I'm so glad that you are out there with the young ones. You give so much of yourself -- now I'm feeling a bit teary! But I must also admit I'm looking forward to your posts about the students and nature on the island. Every thing you write is an adventure to me. Thank you.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks pal. I know you have been a loyal reader for a long time and I much appreciate that!
I will keep sending Floridiana your way.

I know it's odd. I could have cruised as the beloved veteran at my school for the next ten, but that's not really my way.

Is Zick wonderful or what!!
I'mk so glad you found PF and like it enough to hang around here.
Thank you for the kind words. I am looking forward to lots of new post topics out there.

Dani said...

This is so exciting! Good Luck my friend.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Dani!!

LaDivaCucina said...

Good luck to you on your new adventure and also for recognizing that change is GREAT, albeit challenging! I'm excited for you and can't wait to read all about your new adventures!

roger said...

wow dude!! a big change. good for you. takes some courage to jump so far. congrats.

and BONUS... travis mcgee. say hi for us.

Anonymous said...

Cedar Key??


Ericka said...

wow! congratulations!

is it close enough to commute, or will you be looking for a new house?

Julie Zickefoose said...

Bless you for spreading your light to so many for so long. If I were a parent with a kid coming up at your school, I'd be beside myself to see you leave. I can only imagine how much you'll be missed.

I can't toss photos, either. I guess I'm with the Peruvians. You steal a little soul with each photograph.

I'm revealing my non-computer-oriented summer travel/nature mania by saying I love your new template. Much, much better, makes me want to run outdoors.

Inner Spock. Now, how perfect is that? If a pair of pointy latex ears arrives in the mail, you'll know who sent them. Thinking about it, you probably already have 'em.

Bon voyage, bright star.

kathy a. said...

it doesn't sound like you're giving up on the pure florida compound, so i'm guessing it is commutable? is there a cot in case of storms?

big changes. my longest tenure was 12 years, and wow, did i have a lot of recycling after that. and weirdly, i still have a relationship with that place and especially those co-workers, going on 10 years later.

Floridacracker said...

Nothing will change here, except occasional lapses as I focus on the job at hand.

i shall keep an eye out for the busted flush.

Could be.

LOL, yes... it is possible that I own a pair.
Happy to hear that you are flitting about outside and enjoying your summer after such a wet cold winter up there.
Thank you for the kind words.
Not sure why I let that plain brown wallpaper template fester for so long ... busy life I guess.
I do like this one.

Kathy A,
Instead of turning right out of my driveway, I will turn left and drive almost the exact same mileage through almost the exact same scenery (pine trees and swamps) until I reach the Gulf.

jojo said...

Congratulations on the new challenges... I'm going to have to back track on the blog and see what i missed. :)