Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In the Rearview Mirror

Four weeks from today I will turn in my keys for the last time and my badge.  I am 100% certain this is the right thing for me and my parents, but I am sure I will be emotional as I relinquish all I have known for 29 years.  I know there is a time and season for everything, and I know mine is about up.

Right after I signed my first contract, I traded my perfectly fine 1980 Clemson orange Mustang for a 1988 Nissan Sentra.  And.....I signed a lease on a cute craftsman style house across from Walterboro High's football stadium.  All this before I ever got my first paycheck.  When I did get it, my heart dropped; my take home was $464.  One check didn't cover my car payment and rent.  Since Mother didn't want me moving home, she gave me $150 a month to be able to stay on my own. 

As I was going through things, I found some relics.  Teachers are notorious pack rats.  This book of essay topics has travelled with me for 29 years.  There are thousands of topics covering close to 100 subjects, but I think it is time to let it go.

It traveled with me to 5 schools and 17 classrooms:

    Ruffin High:  8 years and 2 rooms
    Colleton Middle:  4 years and 1 room
    Colleton Prep:  1 year and 1 room
    Whale Branch Middle:  3 years and 3 rooms
    Robert Smalls:  13 years and 7 rooms (more on THAT in another post)

As I was going through things,I came across these notes from 10 years ago.  I remember because I had these students in 2006-2007 right before I knew I had cancer.  I remember each of these student's faces.

I am sure as I move forward, more memories will bubble to the surface, but these students were some of the best I have had.  We had single gender classes that year with one girls' class, one boys' class, one coed regular, and one GT coed.  That was the time I realized I much preferred teaching boys.  Girls are too drama-filled.  And, the GT class was da bomb.  I remember writing them a letter where I highlighted each one of them and what I would remember them for.  At least one is already married. What I love about Facebook is being able to keep up with them.  

Twenty-nine years was just a minute ago.