**this post is being written through tear filled eyes**
Today I walked out of room 244 and ended my time as a Community 3 Lead Learner. & my heart is shattered into a million pieces. Just saying it makes the tears well back up. I got to my car after fighting back tears for hours & I erupted. Into a mess. My heart was broken and I kept asking God why. Why did my heart have to break to go where he has told me to go. Why was I wanting with everything to turn around and take it all back. I even told him I wanted to. I told him I wanted to take it all back and stay. The words came from my lips, but my soul knew I couldn’t. My soul knows I owe him my everything and that his promise that his plan is to prosper and not to harm, that his plan is a good one will reign true even through the excruciating pain. Turning those keys in, staring at an empty room, hugging necks at PRS was the hardest thing. Walking away blindly from something you love not knowing what is in front but just trying to continue to have the guts to put one foot in front of the other….it’s hard and it hurts and right now it really sucks. Through clenched teeth I’ll say my God is good through it all.
But I don’t want to focus this post on sad. I want to focus on why that drive with the school fading into the rear view mirror was overwhelmingly painful.
First, I love my job. I love getting to love and teach tiny humans all about life. I love watching them grow. I love being the person they laugh with, share weekend stories with, tell sports season updates to, the one they cry to, the one they hug on, and even the one they drive insane. Teaching is so hard but so rewarding. I love my job. To the ‘nth’ degree. Knowing I won’t walk into 150 hugs, I won’t hear “Miss Helms” 18172793 times a day, and I won’t get to watch kids mold into better people hurts my heart.
Second, Pike Road is home. They taught me all I know about teaching. Suzanne Freeman took a chance on a young, inexperienced college graduate, and I will forever be so appreciative for it. Walking away from that place, it’s tough.
But above all else, my heart is into a million pieces because of a few incredible women. Women who I respect, love, and value more than words can say. Women who I daily try to mirror and be like. These women have made me everything I am and then some. I’ve always told them they would be in my wedding whether they liked it or not, and I quickly reminded them of it today after I left. They are my best, they are my people.
There’s no way I could ever, ever, not in a million years, express how thankful I am for each of you….but here’s just a glimpse….
To my people, my superheroes, my best friends, my family,
Thank you. Thank you for loving me so well. Each of you means the world to me. I hope you know it.
I want to say thank you first for all the professional wisdom you gave me. You all helped me form emails, set up my classroom routines, give advice on how things should work, and so much more. You gave me supplies and ideas when I was lost and confused and walking in circles. Thank you for modeling how to teach and more importantly, how to love children so well. I got the pleasure of watching each of you show up with so much grace every day and love on the child that drove you crazy the day before (lol). I watched as you formed plans for kids that were struggling both academically, emotionally, socially, and behaviorally. I watched as you cared for the kid that was left out and saw how you brought them into your class family. I got to see you show tough love even when it was breaking your heart to do it. I got to stand beside you as you fought for kids. I got to watch you push kids, inspire kids, and grow kids. I watched as you took the time to know each and every student even if it meant staying late to finish all the stuff you tried to get done that morning but they were telling you a story about something wild (ha). I saw you tired, angry, sad, and sick and yet you always sucked it up and showed up for your kids. I was there when you stayed late to rework a standard or plan something incredible. I saw you being the phenomenal teacher….the difference maker…every day. Thank you…for making me the teacher I was. I hope I made you each so so proud. I learned from the best in the business.
Thank you for laughing, crying, and getting fighting mad alongside me. I know why we work. We work because we aren’t just coworkers, we’re family. And families are there for each other when life just stinks or when life is really great. Thank you for being there in my highs and lows. Thank you for laughing hysterically with me. Thank you for sometimes putting down the serious stuff and riding down the hall on a cart. Thank you for bringing me the biggest, deepest laughs. And in the same breath, thank you for letting me get so angry that steam was coming out of my ears. Thank you for letting me vent and then telling me to go love my kids. Thank you for always offering a ear to listen (and usually a response that agreed with my anger 😝). Thank you for letting me get frustrated, sometimes even at you, and forgiving me all the same. After all, families fight sometimes right???? Haha. Thank you for having my back and standing up for me when I got so upset. And thank you for holding me as I got mascara all over your shirt. This year was tough. This year brought pain that none of us would have expected. And yet while you were hurting, you let me hurt on you. You held me up when my heart was so overwhelmed. When all of our hearts were so overwhelmed. Thank you for never judging my tears and always letting them fall.
Thank you for letting me dream. For making me brave in the dreams, for helping me find my dreams, and for being a springboard to launch me into my dreams. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more supported than by each of you. Thank you for dreaming for me when my dreams weren’t big enough and then telling me to go after them knowing I’d look at you like you were crazy. Thank you for fighting for me…when I was weak or when I was doubtful. You all ground me and yet help me fly. Because of each of you, I can dream big. Because of each of you, I’m taking a leap. Whatever happens next, please know it’s because of you and for you. Thank you for allowing me to keep growing into a new me. For never allowing me to grow and change. You all told me to pack up and go to Africa and that y’all would cover all the things to have me ready for school the day I got back. You all are the most selfless people I know. You all are my biggest cheerleaders. Thank you for allowing me to be unapologetically me.
There have been breakups, migraines, a hospital stay, living on the other side of the world, great loss, anger, a career change, a future state move, Chalkable, FreshGrade, book studies, new pets and so much in between that I have been able to walk through with y’all hand in hand. Thank you for doing life, not just work, alongside me. Thank you for hurting when I hurt and laughing when I laugh.
God has blessed me with five of the most beautiful, strong, intelligent, loving people I get to call my coworkers, my friends, and my family. If you don’t know them, you should.
As I packed my room, I saw this saying on an old lesson plan book….it said “A good teacher’s influence can never be erased.” That’s so true. So true for each of you. Thank you for being such a great teacher of life to me. Thank you for influencing me in the best of ways.
It takes a tribe. And you all are mine. No matter the miles. C3 Strong. Divided, not conquered. UpSTATE and downSTATE. 😝
Forever my superheroes, forever my tribe.