The end of a chapter

It has been a very emotional/marathony week for me.  Between marking finals, packing up a classroom, saying farewell to wonderful students, wrapping up Willis' grade 1 year & his ball season....I am done.  I am wiped. I officially need a break.  With wine.  So I'm going to try to address all of these things, but I'll have to do it in separate posts.
So for today, let's talk about my career change. To make a long story short- I want to be at home, focusing on my kids.  Lucia has a year left before kindergarten, so I jumped on that chance.  Whilst doing so, I stumbled upon a part-time mat leave gig for next year in Cyber School teaching Éducation Chrétienne 10, 20, 30.  Keep my foot in the door, I love technology, have an income still and yet be able to correct wherever/whenever I want without all the crazy classroom stuff and of course I jumped on it.  So that's that.  But leaving my students was a little more difficult than anticipated....



I wrote a portion of this post last week after having said good-bye to my transition group (which means I teach them 2 periods a day, all year, hence transitioning them into high school)

Friday, June 20th:
The group of kids you have defines how your year will go, especially when you teach them twice a day.  I'm not normally a "transition" teacher but somehow fell into the role a couple years ago.  For the other 12ish years of my teaching career, I have been a French Immersion teacher.  I have taught (all in french) Christian Ethics (grades 9-12), Francais (grades 9-12), Social Studies (9-12) and then some English classes.  To say I've been moved around is an understatement, I guess it kept me on my toes and made me well versed in a variety of curricula.
My first transition group was difficult, but I think it was more about me transitioning into feeling almost like an elementary teacher again.  I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted, but I went with it.  I should add that in the immersion program, it's always like transition.  You have the same teachers, same kids from 9-12...and that is a very special relationship that forms over the years.  I have always loved the immersion kids that come through and still keep in touch with some after they graduate.
 My very first transition group will be in grade 12 next year and I'll be so thrilled to go back and see them graduate in 2015.   I have held on to their letters they wrote themselves on their first day of grade 9, as well as an assignment I had their parents write about them.  In a million words or less, tell me about your child.  Hmmmm...what would I say about Willis if his teacher were to ask me that.
My last year's group was amazing, I loved them.  They were the perfect group of kids; of course there were issues but they made me smile every day.  This year's group has been a challenge, but I have come to appreciate them too.   I laughed the most ever with this group- they were always up to shenanigans, either comical or bratty.
Today was my last time with them and I was honestly not feeling very emotional about leaving.  I am not returning to Holy Cross where I've called home for the past 8 years and will be taking on a part time cyber school class so that I can be home with Lucia.
When time neared the end of exam time, I was surprised to see kids wanting pictures with me and coming to say thank you and giving me hugs.  I was not expecting this, it's rare that you see gratitude directly with teenagers after all.  I think what got me was the fact that maybe they did care and were sad for our year together to be over- I really didn't think they'd be fazed.  So they made me cry and I found myself sobbing as I hugged some seriously wonderful kids.
Teenagers are always full of surprises, aren't they.
In the end, I was left feeling grateful.  Grateful for having the opportunity to get to know so many talented, intelligent, worldly teenagers through my years at Holy Cross.  Teaching is a difficult job, but it was moments like today that reminded me how rewarding it can be too.
I don't even want to think about saying goodbye to my Frenchies on Monday.......

Thursday, June 26th:
I prepared myself a lot better for Monday.  I knew I'd be verklempt as it was also my last class with students.   My goodbyes with my frenchies weren't as ugly (on my ugly cry part). They were such a brilliant group of kids, that I told them often how much I appreciated them, so I felt at peace with this.  I even get to have some of them in my cyber class which will be nice! I know I have been blessed with an awesome group of kids when I would adopt any of them easily (they've all be raised so well!!) or when I want them to keep in touch with me because I just can't wait to see what kind of person they grow to be.
 I'm not feeling as sad leaving my co-workers or the building as I know I'll be back often for lunches and visits throughout the year.  My "work" friends have quickly become my "reallife" friends, so it's not really good bye.

So that's that.  It's done.  Today I finish packing up my last 13 years which will have to find a spot somewhere at home and now on to SUMMMMMMMER!



Comments

  1. LOVE THIS POST!!! Lots of luck in your new venture! Technology is what I teach now and I love it! Enjoy your SUMMER... And your wine!! :)

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  2. Congrats on your new job! I know you'll so great at it ;)

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  3. I knew that you taught, but I didn't know what - French immersion classes - that's so cool! Good luck with your new opportunity - you will do great, and it will be fun to be home more with your kiddos.

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  4. Congrats on the new job and being able to be home with Lucia. You have to do what you feel is right.
    Wish i lived closer so we could commiserate over wine.... :)

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  5. I taught for 10 years and will always be a teacher/educator/student at heart. I miss the students but not the long hours and constant work. I also miss summers off ALOT. Glad you were able to get this gig and change things up while still having an income.

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