Maybe a sad elephant.
Yeah - just imagine the saddest thing ever. If you aren't crying - here's a BuzzFeed article to help start the tears. Read that and then come back to me.
Ok? Are you crying now? Because I am. I didn't even have to reread that article. Just finding the link made me a little misty. Don't judge. It's been a rough day.
Today started like any other normal day. Actually, it started earlier than most normal days because I had to get all my grades finalized so I went in early.
Before school even started, my neighbor came in to give me goodbye treats. They were amazing and I ate way to many of them. Again - this is a no judging post. She gave me a sweet card and I started crying. Yeah. Notice how school hadn't even started yet. I knew it would be a tough day and so I didn't even bother with eye makeup. That was a good choice.
The day went largely as expected. I cried a lot. My students cried. I had 3 girls burst into tears in class. That part was unexpected and made me cry more.
I got lots of hugs from coworkers and administration and even students. One girl hugged me every time she saw me in the hall today because I "tore her heart out and stomped it on the floor." A bit dramatic, but sweet, and sad.
Having to say goodbye to everyone was much harder than I thought it would be. Saying goodbye to my classroom was hard. I have been a teacher for my entire adult life and now, just like that, I'm not. I know a few of my Boyd classmates were teachers as well - and one of the associates I will start working with on Tuesday is a former kindergarten teacher. I've been told teachers make good attorneys - and it makes sense. We understand bureaucracy and are pretty self sufficient. But, a big part of me will miss being surrounded by students every day.
Over the years, I have taught grades 7-12, including alternative, night, and summer school. I have had all levels of students, from remedial and English language learners, to advanced. I cannot choose a single student or a single year that has been my favorite, because there are so many. I can tell you about times it was hard to continue teaching or students that have really tried my patience, but truthfully, those are the exception rather than the rule.
Four and a half years ago when I started law school, I knew this day would come. And maybe in some sense I knew that I wouldn't ever be a career teacher. As one student told me "Miss, you are really strict, you don't have to follow ALL of the rules." I'm a rules person. As a teacher, you have to pick your battles and let some things slide. I always struggled with that.
However, that's probably the same thing that will make me a decent lawyer.
I managed to pack everything away into a few small boxes, a tote bag, and of course my coffee maker (priorities). It was weird. I think I take more with me on a long vacation. And I was able to distill 10 years into those few boxes.
One of my friends told me today "You know, you can always teach in the law program at [the magnet] high school." And that made me smile. Because she knew that deep down, no matter what job I had, I would probably always be a teacher.
(one more sad llama for the road)