Sunday, February 23, 2014

The one in which I explain my absense...Golden Girls Style

Hello there, dear teacher friends. It's been forever since I blogged. I'm going to channel a little Sophia Petrillo when I say... Picture it. August. The hustle and bustle of back to school night. Parents would be there in t-minus 12 hours, and the first day of school was four days away. I was finished setting up my lovely first grade room, and I was getting ready to do a reveal blog post of my classroom. I had made these precious burlap banners for each word wall in my room, and had chevron-burlap ribbon borders around them all too. I was so excited.

Super cute, right?  It was to be my fourth year teaching first grade, and I had made almost everything I needed for each unit, and this was the year I could take my time doing even more creating of the things I wanted to add. All I had left before the first day of school was to finish-up my plans and copies and I could relax on my final weekend before the littles arrived...or so I thought. The principal had mentioned the night before that they were going to be able to hire another fifth grade teacher, because the numbers were high. (Here is where I should mention that I used to teach fifth grade at my school, but when the number were too low four years before I had moved to first grade.) She jokingly asked if I wanted to move back to 5th. I could not shake the thought out of my mind all night long, and here on the morning of back to school night, I went into her office to say I thought I thought I would like the change. She was excited, because as some of you may know, it is very difficult to find 5th grade teachers who have some experience and almost impossible four days before school was starting. So, it was set.

 The next few hours were a complete blur as I went down to meet with my old teammates to decide what to do first, and how that evening would be handled. The principal called in some interviews for first grade, and my replacement was there in a few hours. I carted off whatever I could take out of my old room without turning it into a disaster, but the rest would have to be done after the parents had all gone back home. I left my room in tact for the firsties that would be seeing their new classroom that evening, and I partnered with another 5th grade teacher to greet parents as my new room was an utter disaster. I kept telling myself that the weekend would be hard, but then it wouldn't be so bad. I had done 5th grade before, and I would know what to do. I realized almost immediately that this was going to be so much harder than I thought. I fought back tears all day. That night while I smiled and greeted 5th graders and their parents one of the moms said, "So why are you in here. Your room isn't ready or something." Inside I was like Chrysanthemum, and I wilted. I had NEVER, not ever, not been ready for this night. I wanted to scream at her that my room was ready, and it was beautiful, but I had given it away. Instead, I just smiled and said, "Yep, pretty much."

 Once the parents were gone, my daughter and her father helped me pack everything I needed from my old room and cart it across the school to the new room. I left a lot of things there for the new teacher, including all my precious banners and borders. I cried all night long. I cried all the next day as my daughter and I put my things away in my new classroom. I cried all weekend as I did a little bit of decorating and lesson planning, so that I would be as ready as possible for this new bunch of students.
(This was the transformation from Friday morning to Friday evening.  Not many decorations, but I have added since then of course.  I was just happy that it was presentable!)

For the next six months, until just recently, I was in mourning. I fought back tears whenever I passed by my old room, by the old craftivities hanging in the hall that would have been mine, when the new Pete the Cat book came out, when the 100th day of school rolled around, and when I remembered each little thing I wouldn't be doing anymore. I didn't look at a first grade blog, or any blog for months, and I barely even looked at my Instagram. It was so strange. I know I have so many fun and wonderful things for my students to do...they are just different things, and I am getting used to it. I finally have a few creative juices flowing again. For the past six months, I have been a TpT buyer, not a creator. It is good to do that of course, but it is even better when I can be doing both. This month, I am happy to say that I am starting to get my mojo back.  I updated my blog and Instagram name from First Grade Wolves to Ms. Wilson's Wolves.  I have made several anchor charts, a cutie Valentine, and a little fraction page with hearts for a Valentine flair that I left for sub-work. I will do a post on those things later this week to share them with you.  I even read through the past six month's of sweet Reagan's blog, and I only cried a little. Mostly I felt inspired again. It's nice to be back...I hope you'll have me. 

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