Of Lesson Plans and Word Counts

It’s finally starting to sink in.

I will not be going back to AC this fall.

That means no lesson plans to prepare, no faculty meetings, no bulletin boards or syllabi to create, no graphic organizers to send to the copy room. No professional development classes, no parent/teacher night.  It also means no new, fresh young faces staring back at me in a strange mix of anticipation and apprehension. 

Yeah, I’m going to miss that last one.

And I’m not going to lie. It feels weird. I’ve given the last ten years of my life to educating high schoolers. The profession has provided me some beautiful highs, and some tear stained lows. It has been both the best and the worst job I’ve ever had and, if I’m honest, I have to admit I’m going to miss it, at least a little.

I’m going to miss the students: Luke, who always sounded like he was asking a question, and Megan, with her breathtaking artistic talent. Wesley, who almost never came to class, but always managed to pull it out at the last minute. Olivia and her vast stock of wisdom and kindness. Dani, who is so beautiful, inside and out. And Dusty, Destiny, Jaymie, Bailey, Skye, William, Conner, Ethan, Cesar, Kylani and…The list goes on, far too many to mention them all here. As they do every year, the students go on with their lives. Our paths will likely never cross again, and that is as it should be. I hope I helped them. I hope they remember me fondly.

Hold on. I need a tissue.

I’m going to miss my colleagues. Tracie and her endless font of wisdom and creativity. Becky S. and her love of all things HP. Vivian and her head on approach to pretty much everything. Becky T. and her unique take on the world. Not to mention Tina, Anne, Sara, Debra, Cynthia, Rob, Jackson, Scott, Bernie, Amy, Shelli – and the list goes on, and on. I am so thankful that I don’t have to lose any of them. (Thank you FB.)

Because of these folks and so many more, it was a good ten years. There are moments when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision – and then I sit down at my desk and the words begin… And I know that I’m in the right place now, just as surely as I was in the right place for that decade of my life.

This past weekend I was privileged to present at a writing Focus day for the Florida Writers Association. It was glorious. I got to speak on something I am passionate about to people who wanted to learn what I had to teach. The teacher in me joined hands with my inner writer and the resulting happy dance is still going on. I’m thankful that the bridge isn’t too long, and it’s in good repair.

So, if I’m looking back with a bit of wistfulness, I’m also looking forward in anticipation. Feeling one doesn’t cancel out the other.

How about you? What changes are you making these days? I’d love to hear about them.

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