I can’t believe this day has come. I dreamt about it when I was a little girl. I talked about it when I got married. And now it’s actually real.
Today I said goodbye to my teaching job to be a stay at home mom come August.
I said goodbye to my first big girl job.
I said goodbye to the classroom that welcomed me fresh out of college.
I said goodbye to the administration who believed in me and gave me my dream position.
I said goodbye to an amazing partner teacher.
I said goodbye to my coworkers and students.
And I said goodbye to the chapter in life that has changed me forever.
As I look back over the past three years, I am blown away. I am not the same girl who walked in the school doors on my 22nd birthday for my interview. I was young, still student teaching, about to get married and full of dreams and ambitions. I was excited to have my own classroom. And absolutely terrified at the same time. I had worked my tail off in college to become a bilingual elementary teacher. I was nervous, anxious and so ready to be a teacher.
I know three years isn’t a long time at all. Especially when I compare it to the legacies of teachers all around me. They have poured their heart and soul into their careers and the students they’ve taught for decades. But still… Three years changed a young, inexperienced girl into the person I am today. Just like the halls of my elementary school saw me grow, the halls of Cannon saw me grow as well.
I grew in my knowledge of the profession. I grew in my love for my kiddos. And I grew in maturity as life threw me all kinds of curveballs.
As I walked the halls of Cannon for the last time as a teacher, tears welled up in my eyes. I saw the doors to classrooms of people that were once strangers and now I consider friends. I remembered all the student work I’ve seen over the years and how much they made me smile. I could see my class walking down the halls in a line that would never be straight, no matter how many times I told them to walk one behind the other. I heard the laughter of students as they learned. I saw all the lives that had been changed in those hallways. And I cried.
Even though I was only there for three years Cannon saw a lot of my tears.
There were the tears of frustration when I couldn’t understand why a student STILL didn’t get something.
And there were the tears I shed with my kids when my heart broke for them when I saw they struggling.
I cried the day I shared the news about my dad with my partner teacher.
And the school saw a lot more tears as I processed all the events of the past year and a half as I saw my dad deteriorate from cancer.
There were tears when I saw my students reach out because they knew I was hurting.
But also tears of joy when Isaac called me in September sharing he had been offered the job we had been praying for.
And tears when I told my dear partner teacher that I was pregnant.
Then today… Cannon saw my tears as I said goodbye to one of the best chapters in my life.
The past three years haven’t been easy by any means. There have been many late and sleepless nights. A lot of stress, work to be done and standards to teach. I’ve had to face hardship that most people my age don’t even dream of. But by the grace of God, those aren’t the things that come to mind when I think about my time as a teacher. Instead I remember dancing and singing with my class to my favorite Kidz Bop songs. I think back to those times when the lightbulb turned on and I saw a struggling student finally get a hard concept. I remember all the hugs, cards, gifts and smiles I was given by the three sweet dual language classes I was able to teach. And I hold on to the relationships and friendships I formed over the years.
Which is why today was so. hard.
I have been forever changed by my three years of teaching. The hallways of Cannon Elementary have seen many a teacher come and go, but they will forever hold a special place in my heart. And I can’t wait to tell my son all about the amazing times I had in that building.
And so… Today begins a new chapter in life.
I am no longer employed (AHH!). And come August I’ll officially be the stay at home mom I’ve dreamt of being ever since I was three years old. I know the lessons I’ve learned the past few years have helped me not only become a better teacher, but will help me be a better mom, and I can’t wait! I’ll also continue my photography business even after James is here, which I am really looking forward to!
Even though change is not my favorite thing in the world, I rest assured knowing the decision I made to stay home will be 100% worth it when my little baby is finally in my arms. A new chapter in life has begun. And best is yet to come!
And for your viewing pleasure, here are my first and last day of school pictures taken by my sweet husband! I am so thankful to have these.
Here’s to a new chapter and change!