It is with great… something that I leave Alburnett Community Schools today for a job next fall at Lisbon High School.

I say “something” because I am having a very difficult time identifying what emotions are churning around inside of me. My heart is like a DQ Blizzard — little chunks of different flavors roiled around and turned into a cement-like mixture of indistinguishable flavors.

But, Blizzards are delicious. So does that mean leaving is delicious? Delicious but ill-advised, like eating that much sugar?

It’s been weird. That’s the only way I can describe it. This wasn’t planned. But I’m okay. Is it weird that I’m okay? That I see a slamming door as an opportunity to search for an open window?

The last day of school, no matter where you work, is basically a day of babysitting. Sure, there are locker clean-outs and check out sheets to complete, books to collect, etc. etc. But mostly schools scramble around to set up structured “fun” activities to wrangle the children until they climb on the bus for the last time. For the students, the day is saturated with excitement and impatience, and dripping with drama — a lot of the time in my experience kids who know they won’t see each other all summer, or ever again, sabotage friendships so that the separation hurts less. There are tears. There can be blood.

Point is, students are wrapped up in their own worlds today, which means they are fresh out of cares for teachers, even if they probably will never see them again. I imagined saying a lot more goodbyes today, to get more hugs, to have more of something. But an equally loud voice inside of me is grateful for a gentle slide into oblivion.

I got flowers. I got a balloon. I got a hug from a student I’ve known since sixth grade who will miss me, and who will be missed. This is okay.

This is my third time doing this, this type of leaving. I’ve had students cling on too much, have trouble letting go. And so many others just forget you. All of it is okay. I’m coming to the understanding that leaving a teaching job will always be weird, it will always be okay and not okay. It’s okay to be sad, to dread starting over YET AGAIN, and it’s also okay to be super duper extremely excited about teaching high school next year, meeting new people and challenges.

When you leave a teaching job, you have to write a letter of resignation. It can be as simple as a typed page that says, “I hereby resign my position effective at the end of this year” with your signature at the bottom. But hey, I’m an English teacher, so I couldn’t just write the bare minimum! They said I could write whatever I wanted, so I wrote a poem, which I will paste below. I will also paste a villanelle I wrote today trying to capture my feeling.

 

Sonnet On My Resignation

Every day, there was a brightness here,

Through trials, hands would help along the way,

A closing noose that suffocates the year,

It doesn’t help to wish that I could stay.

 

I am numb — a black-space house of stars,

Cosmos of silent disbelief — alas,

To think I could not see a house of cards

For what it was: a sanded hour-glass.

 

But as they say, fortune favors the bold,

And soft! What light from yonder window breaks?

There’s a longer story yet untold,

A tale of teaching, learning, loving, and mistakes.

 

And so it seems the planets have aligned.

The post of MS English I hereby resign.

 

The End, Part III

This is ending number three

and I don’t know what to say

A pharos falls into the sea.

It was time, we all agreed

counting down  until the day

This is ending number three.

A closing door, forgotten key

a window with an open shade

A pharos falls into the sea.

Rotten apples, withered trees

frantic joy and bitter May

This is ending number three.

Ungraspable reality

and the future, leave or stay

A pharos falls into the sea.

Not how it’s supposed to be

but here we are, and it’s the day

This is ending number three

A pharos falls into the sea.

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