This past year I decided to make a move to an elementary school across town. Some thought it was because we got a new principal and grouped me into a category of jumping ship. However, that was not the case. It was simply a case of change was coming and I wanted change on my terms. I moved to a pretty snazzy school here in Greenville that focuses on technology. Anyone who knows me as an educator knows that technology and writing are my passion. I decided that I wanted to be part of a group of teachers who were leading technology changes in my district and were on the forefront of great opportunities instead of having to wait for it to get to me. I believe that it is much easier to create change than to wait for it to arrive on your doorstep. Others disagree.
As a part of this change, I had to say goodbye to some pretty special people. I was at Tigerville for 4 years and developed life long relationships with my fellow nerds above. Laura and Santana were the best team that I've ever had the opportunity to work with. Sorry Live Oak peeps! All 3 of us were extremely different in our approach to teaching, planning, discipline, etc. but we worked seamlessly and had a shared vision overall. To my recollection, we never had a day where we were upset with each other. Pretty amazing to be able to say that. Our planning was unconventional, but it worked. We used our planning time for breakfast most of the time and discussed what we were doing that was working, asked questions, and then threw ideas around for the next week. Then we all went back and did our thing. At the end of last year we had perfected this to even be on the same page accidentally! This year will be extremely different not having them down the hall to bounce ideas off of, but I'm ready for a new challenge. Laura left Tigerville as well and will only be around the corner from me. So, she will be easily accessible for coffee after school some days. I will miss both of them terribly - especially the dressing up part!
I also had the opportunity to work with an amazing kindergarten teacher, BobbieJo. I've never taught lower than 2nd grade and K5 scares the beejezzus out of me. The thought of teaching it sends chills down my spine. But, BobbieJo and I became reading/tech buddies. We worked hand in hand for 3 years developing activities that both of our students would enjoy. Over those 3 years I became more comfortable with the thought of working with 5 year olds, but only if BobbieJo was there :)
Deb, was our science lab teacher when I first came to Tigerville. She was then moved to RTI and now is a 1st grade teacher, but she will always be a fashion consultant to me! Between Deb and Laura, I knew what to where and definitely what not to! Deb is an amazing teacher who casts sunshine wherever she goes regardless of what is happening outside of school. An absolute ray of sunshine!
Life will be different, but I am who I am as a teacher in part because of the relationships that I have with these people and several others across my career. I loved Tigerville and will forever be grateful for the opportunity to teach there. Tigerville was a testing ground for me to try things, experiment with new strategies and technology, to come into my own style as a teacher. This year, I'll enter my 12th year of teaching and there is so much that I still have to learn. But, it was time for this little chick to fly out of the nest for awhile and share what I've learned at Tigerville with other schools and teachers. Yes, there are trade offs as I've told others. But in the grand scheme of things, I'll be better because of this change. It's a new challenge. I'll admit, I grew a little comfortable at Tigerville and that is not a good thing. This change will be just the jumpstart I needed to be re-energized. But, it won't quite be the same without a little help from my friends. So, guys, answer your cell phones and text messages this year!