Yesterday was my last day of teaching in Iowa. And, although I didn’t need Google Calendar to remind me…
I was still sad to leave.
When I walked through the doors of Point in 2010, I was a young, very-green, brand new, fresh out of college teacher. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I will always remember the first day students attended school. I had been in my classroom for about a week setting it up and I totally thought I had everything under control. But, when the first bell rang, my heart stopped. How in the world was I supposed to teach science to 135 students? What was I going to say? Would they like me? And, when the first student walked through that door, I put on a sorority smile and said, “Good morning!”
I’ve learned a lot in my first 4 years as a teacher – both personally and professionally. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to be more patient with students (and adults), what effective leadership looks like, and that things are not always as they seem. A bonus lesson is that friends come from the most unexpected places.
I’m extremely sad to leave my first job. It didn’t all hit me until I was handing in my keys and computer to the head secretary, and that’s when the water-works started. As I looked around my classroom before I left for the very last time, I was overcome with emotion. This job allowed me to move to Iowa with Chris and eventually helped us grow closer as a couple as we got engaged on the Labor Day weekend of my first year and married during the following Memorial Day weekend. That classroom was the only consistent place while we moved three (3!!) times during our tenure here in Iowa. I’ve made some wonderful lifelong friends and have worked with some amazing people. I am heartbroken to leave them. I’m going to miss my students and my cross-country athletes.
But, there’s no reason to dwell on the past. As of 3pm yesterday, I was no longer an employee of that school district. As I drove home from school for the last time, I reflected on why I was so down-trodden, and while all the reasons that I’ve written already are so valid, the main reason I’m uneasy is that I’m scared.
I’m scared of walking into an unknown building and culture. I have no idea what to expect. At Point, I knew exactly how everything worked. At my new school, I have never set foot inside the building as I interviewed for the position over Skype. I’m nervous about meeting and working with new people.
But, on the bright side, I’m moving to the city where Chris and I met and first fell in love. I’m moving closer to family and friends. My Iowan friends are looking forward to visiting in the upcoming year and we are looking forward to coming back to Iowa for Chris’ graduation.
This is truly the end of an era. Thank you to all that helped me and guided me through the tumultuous waters of my first teaching job. I will never forget you and will think of you always.