A year ago, I would have never guessed I’d be where I am today. I suppose a lot can happen in a year. I left my old school – my first teaching job, after six years for a new school. There were some amazing people at my old school. They supported me, helped me learn how to become a better teacher, and started me on my journey as an educator. I am still close with many of them and I know a few will remain in my life forever. I’ve written about most of them and there are more I never wrote about, but had just as much of an impact. And then I left.
I have never written about the reasons I left, but suffice it say, there were forces there making my professional life less than ideal. It’s funny how whenever you’re in the midst of a storm, you kind of forget the sun is still shining beyond the clouds, but there it is, always waiting for the chaos to pass and shine it’s warmth and light on you. Last summer, when my new principal called me and offered me a job, I got the sun, warmth, flowers, and even a rainbow.
There is so much I love about my new school. The list is almost endless and everyday I’m reminded how grateful I am to have landed in such a place. At the core, what this move made me realize, above all else, is there are children everywhere that need good teachers, role models, and adults in their lives. There isn’t one school for any one teacher, but there are better fits, that’s for sure.
It’s not just the children, but the staff. From my principal who respects my voice, to the other kindergarten teacher (yes, there’s only one other) who takes care of me in small ways, to the fourth grade teacher whose classroom I visit almost daily, to the Ed Tech who brings the joy of acting and theatre to my class, to the second grade teacher who makes me laugh, to the first grade teacher who always shares her candy with me, to the secretary who is one of the most amazing ladies you’ll ever have the honor of knowing, to the fifth grade teacher who works with me to help siblings we share, to the special education teacher who comes in my room with a smile, ready to dance with us, to the third grade teacher who always goes above and beyond for her students, and finally, to the lunch ladies who cook not only for my class, but for me with more love and sweetness than I ever thought possible in a school kitchen.
Of course, it’s really all about the children. Of course I loved the kids at my old school, but here, at my new smaller home, it’s just taken to a different level. Not only do I have a connection with my students, but for the first time, I truly feel like all the kids, from preschool to fifth grade are ‘my’ students. I get more smiles, high fives, and yes, even hugs, from the big kids who somehow know, as a kindergarten teacher, I’ll hug you even if you’re almost a sixth grader.
This school needed me just as much as I needed it and that is a wonderful feeling.
A year ago I would never have guessed this is where I would land, but here I am. Landed. My love for this school has just begun, but I plan on staying a long time and making it the best place for everyone who walks in the front door. If you love your school as much as I do, you’re a lucky teacher. If you don’t, there might be a different place for you to call home. Remember, there are both children and staff out there waiting for someone to come and make an impact on their community… they might just be waiting for you.