Saturday, May 26, 2007

 

I'm Moving On...

A chapter of my life has ended, and a new one has begun. Yesterday I packed up my classroom for (possibly) the final time, and I am looking forward to beginning a new phase of my career. This fall I will begin working for the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative as a math specialist. I will have an office at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and I will travel around North Alabama working with AMSTI-trained teachers. I spent a year (several years ago) doing this job, and it is exciting to be returning to such a wonderful place!

I have requested a leave of absence for a year so that I may return to my school system if this job is not what I expected it to be. A lot has changed in the five years since I worked with AMSTI, and I am a little nervous about going back. I absolutely loved the job before! Most days I did not feel as if I were even working. I was able to enjoy most of the wonderful parts of teaching and leave out many of the negatives (grading papers, parent conferences, discipline issues, etc.). However, I have been really sad this week about leaving the classroom. I am going to miss my students. I love having a group of students to call my own. I love watching their confidence in mathematics grow throughout the year. I love getting them to discuss their thinking about their work. I love getting to know them! Seventh graders are so very interesting! I am also sad because I haven't done everything I wanted to do as a teacher. I never got a collaborative project off the ground like our Alatoba project from this year. My students didn't use the online tools the way I wanted them to. I could do a better job of teaching several concepts. I still have so much to learn about being a good teacher.

Someone told me that my reluctance to leave the classroom was a sign of a good teacher. I hope that is what it is. I feel very much like I did at high school and college graduation...I know it is time to move on, but I have liked what I have been doing and I am a little unsure about what comes next. I have been in the classroom for 17 of the past 18 years. I am looking forward to having a life outside of work! However, I am beginning to work on my Master's Degree, so any extra time I have will be taken up by that.

I would love to hear from people who have left the classroom. Did you have mixed feelings about leaving? The beginning of the school year will be strange! I am looking forward to less stress. Any wise words would be much appreciated!

P.S. Busy summer ahead. My family is leaving for Disney World Tuesday. We will be gone for two weeks! The week after we return, AMSTI Summer Institute begins. That also lasts two weeks. July is filled with camp and Vacation Bible School, and then August will be here before we know it. I keep looking for a chance to relax, but I don't think it is going to happen! Have a great summer!

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