How do you say goodbye to a place that you have worked at since 2008?! For me, this was the problem that I faced this school year. I found out in November that my contract was not going to be renewed for the next school year. That is a LONG time to work through knowing that you are not going to have your job the following year.
Now, don't get me wrong, I had my moments where I wanted to throw in the towel and not do everything. BUT, what kind of person would that make ME? Even if I didn't understand why things were happening I knew that I had to do the right thing. No matter how others made me feel while I was there I knew that I was there for a reason, and that I was leaving for a reason. Do I exactly understand why this has happened, not at all, but I know that one day I will.
I have some amazing friends who helped me get through the end. My coteacher and I both agreed that we would be ready to check out on our last day of school. We were both determined to put this year behind us, and were eager to have it done as soon as possible. We worked hard to make sure our checklists were done, our rooms were clean, and we were packed and ready to go. We did a majority of the work the last weekend of school because we didn't want our students to think we were abandoning them!
While I was going through all of this, packing my room, figuring out what was next, one thing kept me going. God was with me every step of the way and I knew that He was holding me up. That last week of school was so hard, but so rewarding. I was reminded from multiple parents, students and coworkers of the great things I had done. I received cards, and emails letting me know that I was going to be missed. The handwritten notes I received from students were amazing. The countless email addresses that were exchanged, and promises to keep in touch. These smiling faces were my WHY!
The relationships that I developed over my eight years at my school are something that I am going to treasure for the rest of my life. Not only did I teach some AMAZING students, I was BLESSED with amazing relationships. These students not only entered my classroom, but they also entered my heart! One of my current students was amazed that I could name ALL of the students from my 3rd grade class that was graduating this year, even though only 4 of them were graduating from our school. These kids are something that I will never forget.
These two girls!! I have known my middle student since she was a 5th grader. I have tutored her for the last few years in math. She was valedictorian of her class and is AMAZING!! She is moving across the country next year and is entering a very impressive program! I know that she is going to do so many GREAT things, but it breaks my heart that she is leaving! Luckily her little sister was in my FIRST 3rd grade class, and is only going to be a junior next year! Their family took me into their family, and I had dinner at their house ONCE A WEEK until my son was born! That wasn't until August of 2011, and I started teaching in August of 2008!! Yes my friends, you read that right, I ate dinner at their house ONCE A WEEK for THREE YEARS!! They are AMAZING!!
I can't quite possibly say enough about this amazing girl! I am so proud of all that she accomplished, and I can't wait to see how much further she goes!! Luckily her graduation was after my last day of school so I could attend her graduation! I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!
Every year I took a last day of school picture with this girl!! She was in my FIRST third grade class, and we have years worth of last day of school pictures! She was at graduation this year for her little sister so we made sure to grab a last day of school picture this year to add to our collection. These relationships are never going to be forgotten, and are part of the reason I was able to make it through the end!
Really, the only reason I was able to make it through was because of this girl! She is a ROCKSTAR!! You can read all about my amazing co teacher here, and how much I love and appreciate her!! She was so smart to think that we needed this final selfie in our empty classrooms while we were waiting for our principal to come and check us out! We have endured so much, and she was my rock!! Without her I know I wouldn't have made it!!
I still don't know why I had to live through this year. I don't know why I had to go through doubting myself, doubting my skills, and doubting my relationships. I do know that I am strong, and that I was able to get through this year. I know that in time I will be healed, and my heart won't hurt when I think about this year. I know that God has a bigger plan than I can see right now. Despite that, I am so excited for what is coming next. I am very thankful for this year. I am thankful for the opportunities to see who my true friends are. I am thankful for the opportunity to grow and depend on God. I am thankful for the affirmation that I am a GREAT teacher! Most of all I am thankful for my friends and FAMILY who were there for me every step of the way.
My bloggy bestie Ashlyn did sum it up perfectly on IG though!! The worst part of the school year was saying goodbye. I am going to miss being across the hall from my best friend! I am going to miss holding the door open and getting my hugs from students ranging from 8th grade down to 3rd grade. I am going to miss running talent shows, taking pictures at chapel, and hearing those sweet voices praising God. So for now, goodbye, but don't worry, I'll be back! I have too many relationships that I am going to continue to build!! See you soon my friends! <3