when you don’t have it all ‘sewn up’


slice button this marchDave left, took his 6 by 6 bulletin board pictures down.  The pictures, newspaper clippings, notes from students, notes from friends neatly fell into rubber banded stacks in Box 1.  His organized binders of plastic – sheathed basketball and soccer ideas fell in on top.  Box 1 was taped and sat ready to go.  Poetry binders and journals easily filled box 2.  One thumb drive and a lanyard were tossed in after the mini paper-cutter he adored.   Box 2 was also taped up.  Dewey, his giant library fish along with his  tank were handed over to his special needs library helper for safe keeping forever.  He turned the key one last time, leaving his media center,  and coaching life that he had loved so much…forever.  He had it all sewn up, all buttoned up.  He chose a new path; one that would provide just enough money for travel.  He felt ready.

I do not have it all in two boxes.  I want to still engage in a search for a new principal. I am still interested in helping my teacher friends discover new ways to attack ‘close reading’.  I am still willing to fight for assessment that informs our instruction.  I am still worried because writing workshop is so fragile in our system.  I am still wanting to engage in all the new tech tools that we have, to engage students.  I worry and wonder if I will still continue to be relevant in the Master’s program I have taught in for seven years, if I am not in the classroom.  I worry.

I don’t think I’m really done yet.  There maybe will be something more.  It may be stitched together differently than Dave’s ,and I know that it might take me a while to get it ‘all sewn up’, but somehow I know that I’ll eventually arrive in the spot where God wants me to be.

Their faces still fill me with joy.  Joy like this can’t be packaged in a box.  I’m taking it with me…along the way.



About Nanc

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

7 responses »

  1. “the spot where God wants me to be”…I’m sure, too, that you will arrive there (in fact, you are already there). Your words inspire fellow teachers to remember the things we love about teaching and focus on those, to stay invested in what is going on in our profession and our schools.

  2. I especially love your last line: “Their faces still fill me with joy. Joy like this can’t be packaged in a box. I’m taking it with me…along the way.”

    You may have to one day pack up all of the belongings into two boxes (or 3, or 4, or…), but those smiles and the memories all of your kiddos will be with you always!

    I can tell how much you love your job and your students. 🙂 That’s so wonderful!

  3. You are not all done. When I retired I continued working with our local Writing Project (Capital Area Writing Project) and I found that I can give it more time and do what needed to be done for the project because I had the free time.

  4. Everyone chooses the path that their heart calls them to. And everyone needs something different in order to make their peace, feel valued, be engaged. You will, too.

  5. So interesting to compare you journey to someone else’s. It’s tough. It has to be our path. Our road. We can’t follow along that of our neighbors. I think I understand.

  6. I also love that last line…Their faces still fill me with joy. Joy like this can’t be packaged in a box. I’m taking it with me…along the way.”
    Those are the reasons why we teach. Those are the things that can’t be negotiated in a contract or a retirement deal. So glad you’ve chosen this path…it is obviously the one God intended for you. He will be faithful to show you where to step next.

  7. When I moved from the classroom, it was with much trepidation, Nancy, and you don’t have the challenges I was going to have with my husband so that makes some difference. I still do miss the close relationship I had with students. I make good ones within groups, but it is different. Yet, I am ready/was ready for new things. I spend more time in other pursuits like writing now, like being with different people. I wish you the best in your decision but understand you don’t take the change lightly!

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