Wonderful Joy Ahead

New digs.

Every year, we are required to empty our classrooms, packing up the year into various tubs and boxes, stacking them neatly in the school hallway outside our doors. I believe this is to allow the summer cleaning crews access to our rooms, but it may also be a forced purging/cleansing ritual. This is always an arduous task. It starts optimistically enough (I'm going to finally clean out my filing cabinets!) and ends in a frantic panic (just throw it in a box and I'll deal with it in August!) If you are unlucky enough to be moving classrooms, this means hauling all your boxes and bins to your new doorway using whatever means you have at hand - carts, rolling chairs, burly teenagers pressed into unwilling service.

This year, my end of the year pack up also meant I had to get six years of my life into boxes, down the hallway, into a car, over to a new school, down a new hallway, and into a new closet. I managed, barely. There were multiple car trips, two extra vehicles pressed into service (thanks neighbors!) and a trailer manned by two polite young men that all combined to make it happen. And when it was all said and done, a day and a half later, my teaching life was crammed into a bathroom and closet and a chapter closed.

Six years of my life, crammed in a bathroom.
We finished the job in time for the wrap-up luncheon at DCE. The principal, the man who took a chance and hired me, the unexperienced teacher/new mom/former journalist looking for a career change, said a kind word about all of us who were leaving (a slew of folks this year). I received my parting gift. Reminisced with my coworkers about what we termed the "golden age of first grade". Gave a few hugs. Surrendered my badge. Walked out the door for my last time. Shed a few tears as I drove away. Oh, it was bittersweet. This is the place I learned to be a teacher. I went from not knowing what I was doing and crying every morning in the parking lot to, well, knowing what I was doing and doing a fairly decent job at it if I say so myself.

Goodbye DCE. You've been good to me.
As I've mentioned before, I hate change. I have a strong aversion to the unknown. Yet here I am, willingly volunteering and stepping out into this brave new world. It will be so strange to start a new year without the familiar faces that have become my family. But then I look around at how much has already changed and realize that, even if I had stayed, next year wouldn't be the same anyway. It was time. The right time. A good time. Time. But it is still not easy.

As I was trying to think of something to give my wonderful crew of co-teachers that got me through this year, I came upon this verse and claimed it for my own. I'm secure in the knowledge that my path is set before me by One who knows the master plan. And I'm confident that His plan is good. There is wonderful joy ahead, my friends. And until then... summer.

Claiming it.

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