The maintenance crew at my school all know to leave the burned out florescent bulbs that are above my desk alone. They know not to change them. They all know that the light reflects off of my desk and bothers me.
So they leave the section of lights burned out.
The transportation director knows that I am horrible at filling out requests for vehicles during the cheerleading season. Like I'm just bad at it. It is the number one thing I forget to do and it is constant. No matter what I try, I just never remember.
So she's patient, and she laughs at me, and she's usually one step ahead of me with the request already filled out.
The sweet lady (hi, Sal!) that does all of our ordering and bookkeeping ... she's been there since before I was there. I got hired and came back one day to do my tax paperwork. I sat in the workroom contemplating whether or not to call my mom because I had no idea what I was even looking at. She came in to fill up her water bottle, and noticed I was struggling.
So she stopped, sat at the table, and explained it all to me. (And we still laugh about it.)
And there was Russell, who was a total class clown for four years and then he went to the Marines. And he came back and waited by my door one afternoon and I didn't even recognize him. He held out his hand, shook mine, and said, "Hello ma'am." And I about died. He grew up to be this smart, funny, family guy and I got to see it.
Molly is now a pre-school teacher in our district and she does the cutest, most fun things with her classes. Allison will be an elementary teacher and she just invited me to a bachelorette party (start praying for me now). Ashlie, a special ed teacher and will coach my old cheer squad. Lauren is a stay-at-home mom that double majored in college, and she makes the cutest dang babies. Sarah, and Jill, and Angela - all successful sisters that I got to teach and all still smiling, loving, and kind girls. There's Michael, the police officer. Luis, the deputy (who still hasn't pulled me over, thank you Jesus). The Parsons boys who are all good men. The Harding boys that just live. Logan - a super star MVP volleyball player at Hastings. Mitchell (and his mom) still makes me laugh. Erin, Jasmin, Mackenzie, Kellan, like my list could go on forever, you guys.
When you make a decision to leave your teaching job, there's more to leave behind than just your desk. Or your chair that you hunted down and took fair and square from a leaving teacher's room. Or the set of novels that you've painstakingly collected over the course of 13 years.
There's the people, too ... and their stories.
The Director of Facilities that sometimes leaves a cold Diet Mountain Dew and cookies on my desk in the morning.
The teacher next door to me that knows just exactly how to interpret my practiced left eyebrow raised look.
The teacher on the other side that walked into her job the same year that I walked into mine ... we've weathered some storms together.
I've sat through 13 seasons of volleyball, basketball, wrestling, and football. I've stood outside for 13 home track meets. Kids that I taught in the beginning are now married, and have their own babies.
I had my own baby. And then he sat through seasons, too. He practically lived through the winter in the gym.
I wrote four books, finished a Master's Degree, and got divorced.
Lived through years that ask questions, and survived the years that answered.
I feel like I've lived my entire life at one school.
And now it's time to move on.
I packed up my classroom - box after box. Stuff that I'd forgotten I had. Stuff that I'd kept that I didn't need. Cheer bows. Lanyards. Letters from kids from the past decade. All in neat boxes in my garage. Waiting for the next room.
It has been one of the greatest joys of my life - knowing parents and kids and working every day in a school with unique needs. These people have become my family - and for a girl with family scattered all across the states - that's been incredibly important.
They all have been one of my greatest joys.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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