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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Grand Reveal

Anxiety and I are not friends, and for many weeks now, I have lived in a constant state of heart palpitations, sweat, sleeplessness, and nausea. I have had to make a very important decision based on someone else's important decision, then I had to keep it a secret.

The current AVID coordinator and elective teacher on my campus is moving to another position within our district, an opportunity he has been working toward for years. The vacancy of his position led to an opportunity for me, and I was offered the chance to take over in his absence - three weeks into our new school year. I said yes, and while maintaining this secret, my colleague and I have been not-so-subtly working together every spare moment we get to prepare me for my new role while he prepares for his new role. I have been assisting daily with one of his classes as a student-teacher of sorts and meeting with him during my conference period.

The start of this school year has been amazing, and even though we are only in week six, I feel like I have known my current students for much, much longer. I build relationships quickly, and I was filled with love for my 2016-17 crew within moments. And now I will be leaving them for other students. Or in their words:

This decision was not without heavy consideration. Not only will I be exiting my teaching role with my current students, I will be leaving a content area and department for which I have devoted over thirteen years of my life, and I will be taking on new students in a system to which I have devoted and impassioned for ten years. This is a going to be a big adjustment for over two hundred young minds as well as quite a few adults. 

We have been holding on to the grand reveal for weeks, causing both my colleague and I some discomfort. Last week, he decided it was time to start easing the students in, so on Thursday, he began telling his classes. Two students who are in both AVID and in my English class addressed me directly, but for the most part, the information was blown over quickly. By Friday, however, it was something else completely!

Two of my five classes were informed last week, and three were informed today. There have been tears, begging, hugs, more tears, threats to steal my teddy bears, concerns of never seeing me again (I am only moving downstairs)... One students told me she would have never gotten attached to me had she known I was going to leave her so soon. A few told me that there is no way they are ever going to like a new teacher. Kids I will still be teaching directly are acting like they were never, ever, ever going to see me again anywhere. 

I have done my best to comfort my kids (and they will always be my kids), to let them know that I am not leaving them as much as they think. I will make time for them. I will have lunch with them. I will come to games and concerts and events for them. But they are still teenagers, and emotions run on high. I know we will all survive the transition; they are not quite sure as of yet. If nothing else, however, they are fully aware that I love them, and I am certainly aware that they love me (even a few I didn't think liked me at all). 

There is not currently an official date for the change of teaching venue, but it will be coming soon. With this new assignment, my blog posts will shift in focus to some extent, but I hope you follow along in this new adventure and that the strategies and information I share continues to encourage you.


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