16 days left to work in the public school system as a high school teacher. After 22 years 9 months and 22 days (thats what they said) I am DONE. Ive talked about why in earlier posts, but today I talk about how. Ive been packing for a while. My decision to retire early was made easier by the idiot administrator who said — in oral and written communication– that I should remove all personal items from my room. Noone needed to see the pictures of my granddaughter reading a book ( three years old, I teach early ch ildhood education to high school students, seemed appropriate to me), small spongebob and mickey mouse figures balanced on the top ledge of my desk, an accent lamp circled with pictures of students and grandchildren….that was all deemed to be clutter, i was told to edit and toss. So, i don’t have to worry about my “stuff” when I leave., it has been safely carted home.
So now i spend every spare moment ( hahahahaha, teachers know how few of those there are) going through files and bookshelves. My copy of Very Hungry Catepillar is going with me, as well as my lesson plans. Thats right. I am not leaving my lesson plans for the new teacher. There, I said it. I am leaving with my expertise, experience, history , scope and sequene and skill tucked under my arm, labeled 1,2,3,4 — correlates with the levels I teach. Thats HOW I am leaving. the Curriculum, videos, puppets, teacher guides and technology ( “take all student generated signs off the wall, the boss will want to know why you have technology and arent using it”) will still be there, all bright and shiny, but the heart of the program will be gone. Now, I know they will build it again, and it will be wonderful, it better be, my students deserve wonderful, but let them build it on their own == they devalued what I had done, Im taking it with me.
Also, I am leaving a room adorned with paper chains, paper dolls, student generated “bully prevention posters” and cartoons on the wall……..let the admin tell my students why their work isnt appropriate for display. And the printer is probably gonna be real low on ink, weve been producing a bit of technology based signage also.