Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
This quote helped me close this past school year. I had incredible students who motivated me to learn, challenged me to bring my best each day, and surprised me with their perseverance and positive attitude in regard to learning. I missed them as soon as they walked out the door, and tried to remind myself how fortunate I was to have spent the year with them. I knew I would have another wonderful group enter my classroom in the fall and shifted my thinking to reflection and revisions to be made over the summer. But then this happened…
Little did I know that this quote would mean so much more as the summer progressed. June started as it usually does for me. I coordinate our summer bridge program for the 8th graders becoming freshmen. I had 300 new students grace my presence for three weeks and enjoyed getting to know them. But during the middle of the program, I was made aware of a possible job opportunity. To be honest, this was the first year in the past five when I hadn’t considered looking for a new position. I had decided during the spring that I would focus on other things and find contentment with my current role.
After learning more about the job, I felt that this was a chance I couldn’t pass up. The position was for an instructional coach, something I have wanted to explore for several years. So, I applied, interviewed, and was offered the job! All of the sudden my ‘normal’ summer was turned upside down. I was going to leave my school of fourteen years and embark on a new adventure.
But this change is bittersweet. I have to leave behind my district, school, and colleagues. I have to move out of the place where I honed my skills as an educator. The relationships I have formed over the years will begin a new phase. Most importantly, I will give up having ‘my kids’ each year. With this happening over the summer, I feel like there are unsaid goodbyes, and ends that are still unfinished. I will miss Lockport Township High School and will forever be indebted to the organization.
All this said, there is of course a very bright side to the change. I will make an impact on a much larger number of kids by working with a phenomenal group of teachers at Caruso Middle School in Deerfield, IL. I am walking out of my classroom to walk into so many more. Learning a new culture, meeting new colleagues, and forming new relationships are of utmost importance to me as I begin. I am ready to listen, learn, and dive into the challenges this position brings. I am thrilled to work with a staff committed to growing their instructional practices to ensure they are FOR learning.
So as I transition, I can’t say that there won’t be a few tears. It is the end of an era and I must honor it. But when I walk through the doors of my new school in August, there will be joy. I will smile bringing my experiences forward. So here is another quote that I will keep in mind…
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it. -Art Williams