Some days are diamonds...some days are stones. (aka the end is near.)

I remember the teachers we would look at and think, “Oh my God, how many years have they been teaching? Are they ever going to leave?”

I remember that.

I remember some teachers who would say the were retiring and I would think, “What?  They are so great! They can teach many more years!

I do remember that.  

I remember also thinking, “Gosh, I love my job.  I can’t ever think of a time where I wouldn’t want to be teaching.”

Yep.  I certainly remember that.

I also remember talking to many of these teachers and they would say, “Oh, you will know when it’s time.  You will know when you’re done.  Trust me!”

And then last year, in the middle of a hectic, crazy, frustrating, wonderful but exhausting day I had the moment.  I remember standing in the middle of the room having that very epiphany.  I watched the children playing together (or fighting and screaming) very loudly and thinking to myself, “Oh my God, I think it’s time. I think it’s time for a new, young and energetic teacher to take over this job. I. Can’t. Do. This. Anymore.”  I realized that those adorable kids laughing and playing all around the classroom needed someone guiding them who was all in. Because, frankly, when you’re 58 years old with 2 new knees, a new hip, high blood pressure and a fatigue issue- you are probably not all in.

So now, in the week preceding my last year of school, I  am preparing for the end. I am creating an environment that will be welcoming and inviting. I am decorating my room in bright and fun colors, with plenty of toys and great books.  I am planning meaningful and rich experiences that will creative a loving community, plant the seeds of life-long learning and will provide plenty of meaningful play. I will find all of the books that I want to share that have a special place in my heart.  I will do it all, and do it to the very best of my ability.

Basically, I am preparing for the year as I have every SINGLE year for 30 years.  

Only this time, I will try very hard to savor each day.  I will try to unwrap each day slowly, as you would a gift,  and will be thankful for whatever gifts that day might bring.

Even if some of the days bring me a big lump of stones.


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh, I get it. I so get it. I've been doing it for 27 years and have three years left, but sometimes I wonder if I can even do three more. (Financially, it would be ridiculous to take early retirement, but if someone came up with an early retirement incentive package...) I wish you all the best in your final year. I hope you have a few bright lights in your class that make you laugh and smile every day. I hope you have wonderful colleagues that make staff room time fun. -Jenn

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