On Friday, December 16th at 3:10, the school bell will ring and I will stand at the door to the classroom and accept the hugs and goodbyes and the "we'll miss you Mr. Gs" from my class. Then I will take one last look around the room making sure it is straightened for when their teacher returns in January. I'll turn off my computer after turning on the "out of office" feature on my school e-mail, again. I'll pick up my coffee cup, lock the door and sign out at the office one last time.
This class of students are among the very best, if not THE best class I have had in 0ver 33 years of teaching. They are also just really nice people. I'll miss that. A lot!
So as the last few days come and go, I am trying to let the day switch into slow motion, enjoying every moment as if it will be the last. Because the likelyhood is that it will be the last. Oh, I'll sub for a day here and there, but long-term gigs don't come along very often and to have it include a class like this one. . .well, that happens once in a lifetime.
I know they'll be in very good hands when I leave. My teaching partner of 16 years will be back and she'll make math come alive in ways I can't. She'll teach them to play the ukuleles in the room, to love poetry and she'll be there to come back and see next year.
I move on to enjoy a 9 month sabbatical my wife has earned from the University and we'll travel across the planet to places we've never been and that will be so much fun! But I am going to miss this class, terribly! If I am lucky, maybe Ms. Vaughn will need to take another day or two off as the year progresses and I will be available to come back even if only for a day. I will look forward to that.