I'm at the point in packing my classroom where everything is just a mess. I've gotten over the hurdle of getting started, and the easy stuff is in boxes, stolen milkcrates (shhh... don't tell...), and just in piles. The cupboards are empty. A gazillion loads of stuff I will want back have been hauled to the dumpsters. All that is left to pack are the weird odds and ends that won't fit into a box, I still need, or I simply can't decide whether to toss or keep.
My room is sad. The walls echo every little noise. Every year, the last days are sad, knowing the kids are leaving for the summer. But this year, it is even sadder, knowing this is the last time, THE LAST TIME, I will ever, EVER, EVER, teach in this classroom. THIS CLASSROOM. THE classroom I always wanted. The classsroom I waited for years to get a chance at. It isn't bigger than the others, just a normal size classroom. It does have a sink, and yes, a window, but it is just a basic classroom.
Why then was it special to me?? It is in the middle of the middle school. Pure and simple. My room is on the front of the building, with the middle window. The middle school was always THE best place to be, and I was in the middle of the middle. It just didn't get any better than that.
Last year, I gave it up for a year, moving into an interior room, giving a new teacher a shot at the perfect room. He didn't feel the magic in those walls though. And as I moved back in... I swore I'd never leave it again. And now... I am not only leaving it, I am abandoning it, letting it go, never to see kids again.
How sad will these walls feel when everything is removed, and fall comes, and no kids come back. I picture the sadness in the walls, their loneliness sagging them, dragging them down.... as they hear the laughter and the voices from below, realizing no kids are coming back here, ever again.
I know it is just a place. I know that the middle school can live on if WE make it work. I know that.
But the letting go is hard. The moving and leaving behind this place is hard. We spend so many hours here, year round, because this is our home in many ways. Our classrooms become an extension of who we are, what we value, what we want to share with students. Moving to different rooms, in a different building, where things smell differently, where things fit differently, where things sound differently..... It will be a long time before there becomes home.
and I am sad....