Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Big Change

I've been putting off writing this post all summer...but now, as I begin preparations to head back to school, it is a better time than ever. Let my Facebook status from June be a starting point:

After 8 years teaching history at LRHS, I have accepted a position at another high school...MY high school as a matter of alma mater, WHS. This change brings with it a full range of emotions.  I was actively seeking out this new position and have been wanting to make this change for a few years.  With it brings new opportunities...meeting new people, learning how another school 'ticks', expanding my knowledge base by teaching new courses, and a 4 minute commute (compared to the 30 minute commute I've been driving for 8 years).  These are all awesome things that I am greatly looking forward to...

But part of my heart is being left behind...anyone who is a fully invested teacher knows that this profession isn't a 'leave it at the office' type of job.  It's an all consuming part of who you take the day home with you every night, every vacation, and all summer long. I began my career as a teacher as LRHS and it's all I've ever known...I 'cut my teeth' there, if you will.  Some of my nearest and dearest friends are people I met there.  I advised a great number of student groups, including two classes (2008 & 2012), went to countless numbers of sporting events, plays, fundraisers, and activities.  I got to know the students, parents, and community members so well and was very invested in both the school and community at large.  It makes leaving difficult.

 (My colleague Christina and I during our very first year of teaching circa 2004...
we shared a classroom and have since become the best of friends).

I only found out that I got the new job a week before the end of the school year. Needless to say, that last week was a whirlwind of emotions....I cried all...week...long. I laughed, too.  My students and colleagues are awesome....and funny...and thoughtful....many times I was laughing as I was crying...imagine that!  If you need an example of the funniness/awesomeness of my colleagues, look no further than this video of me and my teaching team during our last week of school (I had an idea, and they were all in, no questions asked):

Here is further photographic evidence of the awesomeness of my colleagues:
Mr. C and I 'swaggin''s a long story as to how we arrived in these outfits but rest assured, it was for solely educational purposes! 

I often wonder, like any teacher, what kind of difference I am making in my student's lives? Are they really learning anything? Do they 'get' what I'm teaching? Do they respect me and find me approachable?  Do they appreciate all that I do?  When I told them I was leaving, I got some answers...

Leaving is such a gift in many ways because I was SHOWERED with is humbling...and still makes me cry just thinking about it. The looks of disappointment and sadness on their faces (my students and my colleagues) when I told them the news was heartbreaking, humbling, and happy (they like me...they really like me...jump for joy!). They gave me cards, and hugs, and 'thank yous' and 'I'll miss yous' all week long. Of course, there was a copious amount of crying at each and every one of these interactions. Just when I thought I couldn't feel more appreciated, THIS happened:

A group of students threw me a goodbye party at the beach!! Can you believe it?  Ya, I still can't! They had a tent, food, a 'Miss Rush' trivia game, and one of the most thoughtful presents I've ever received:

They wrote me a book!  During the last week of school a couple students went around and had other students write an answer to the prompt seen above and then typed pages, and pages of their responses into a book!  I cried...and cried...and cried...and still cry every time I read it!

The thoughtfulness and kindness shown toward me during that last week of school and during the goodbye party will be remembered for the rest of my life.  Such kind, thoughtful, and generous young people you all are...

The group sporting their 'History Club' tees at the party (I'm in orange)!

Being 'silly' (what we all do best)!



  1. Wow, that is a lot of love from all of your students!! I can only imagine how felt leaving that school district. I wish you the best of luck at your new school and will keep you in my thoughts!

    1. Hi Caitlin! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! It was very difficult to leave but I know I'll find my place at my new school, too!