The time is here.
Tomorrow, I move out of my classroom I have been in for the past 10 years. The books, professional readings, student novels, books from here and there; boxes of manipulatives from math series I never taught; folders reused year after year, with names of students of years past; posters, math & motivational, maps and student made; parent and student letters and postcards collected and saved/savored; markers, crayons, colored pencils. All of it must be sorted and boxed, moved, tossed or left for the person taking my position.
The first few years I taught here, I shuffled from room to room year after year, never settling too long anywhere, certainly not long enough to hoard. But once I moved into this room, Room 204, the middle room in the middle school, I planned on staying there until they chased me out or I retired. It was the perfect room, despite its flaws. Its location is convenient, right across from the office. It has a window, a sink, and even double cupboards for storage. It isn't huge, but is just one of the normal sized rooms. But I loved it, I longed for it before it was mine. It was destined to be MY ROOM.
But with decisions, with choices, come consequences. And.. with my move to special ed, one consequence is giving up my room. The room I am headed into has the exact same dimensions, but no window or sink. It has a white board, a HUGE bulletin board, and is still close to the office. But somehow, it won't be the same. It won't feel like home.
Oddly enough, the room I will now occupy was the very first room I was assigned when I started teaching here. I moved out almost as soon as I was unpacked, but a year later, I made my way back spent several years in there, some years sharing with other teachers, others, having it all to myself.
I cannot imagine going through all my stuff. I am the world's worst packrat. Throwing teaching materials away is like a sin to me. Who knows when you might need that last drop of glue, or those scraps of construction paper, the last of that roll of brown paper, or those strange 3-D shapes I never did figure out what were meant for. The deciding of what to take, what to leave, and the letting go of an era will be difficult I know.
But even as I dread the move and the packing process, I look forward to the fall, the excitement of a new position, the chance to see students I had years ago in a new setting, and a challenge of making waves in the still waters of our high school. I don't intend to tread water in my new position. While the journey may be upstream and often without a navigation system, I plan to arrive at my destination :) Wish me luck.....