This fall marks the 21st year that I have taught high school Social Studies (and English) in Room 124. That’s a pretty long time. In fact, I am the first teacher to ever have occupied this room, since I started teaching at this school the year that it opened. So it felt pretty weird today telling class after class that within a week or two, they would have a new teacher, as I would be moving on to a new job.
Here is the October 11 version of my new job process…..a flashback if you will, that didn’t get published immediately:
Today is Wednesday. This past Friday I went for an interview for a temporary Instructional Coach- a position that has come about mid-semester due to some unexpected provincial funding. Saturday I was offered the job. Monday night after Thanksgiving Dinner, I was making sub plans for a Tuesday Instructional Coaching event hosted by a neighbouring school division. Today I was telling my students that I’d be leaving them. This has been a whirl-wind of a week. (And that doesn’t even count Saturday, when my family spent the day moving my parents off of the farm that has been in the family for over 100 years!)
Fortunately, they didn’t cheer and dance at the thought of getting rid of me! I was most surprised by the reaction of my last period of the day class. This is my non-academic crew; the ones that don’t love being at school, but stay because they know that it probably makes sense to endure it in the long run. I have taught most of these students in a previous year, and some of the poor lads and lasses have been stuck with me for three years in a row. Some of the most surprising characters took it almost as a personal insult that I was leaving them. Some asked if I had my calendar mixed up because it wasn’t April (when April Fool’s Day comes along). Luckily, the remainder of class time was a distraction with a lively simulation of capitalism as we had a “wicket factory” for the rest of the day.
Although there are many uncertainties about this new position at this early stage, the heavy weight of reality of “leaving home” is a certainty. I won’t have been out of this classroom for this long of a time period since I was on maternity leave with my twin babies almost 17 years ago! Of course, that seems like just yesterday, too.
And of course, change is good. But it can still be scary, even when you are an adult with very exciting possibilities before you.