Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ebb and Flow

The teacher assigned to my position while I am on leave met with me today. It was tough. Even so, it is with great relief I hand it all over to her. I stupidly thought we could pass the baton (did I really just use a sports analogy? Ugh) in a couple of hours. We barely scratched the surface in three. We met with my/her principal for about 30 minutes then headed up to my/her room. As you can see by my use of pronouns I am having trouble with this transition, letting go, giving another my home, removing myself and allowing another to take over. Pathetic.

We had decisions to make. Did she want all my teaching materials left or did she want me to get them out of her way? She has 2 years under her belt. We decided to leave the materials. I have 18 year's worth of good resources. The students are used to them and they are effective. She can start the year with the same instructional strategies as she learns her way around, then abandon or keep what she wants. Did she want all my games, toys for play therapy, recess activities, sensory integration materials, charts, posters, classroom decorations? Yes. So, I don't have to get in there and pack up my stuff. That's a good thing. Does she want to meet again? Yes.

As we talked I got jazzed up. How exciting for her! She is just starting her career and soaking it all up. I loved sharing what I know, introducing her to unconventional strategies, giving her little peeks of the kiddos. I found myself encouraging her to try it all on so she can find herself as teacher. I suggested she come back to the room all by herself and snoop around, feel its energy, dig in the cabinets, start to make it hers.

I took a deep breath and gave her my key.

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Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.