March 23, 2023
This past weekend I finally removed the remnant pieces of my once-amazing classroom. Covid-19 forced the teachers to remove all non-standard seating in our high school and go back to boring, impersonal, 100-year-old rows of desks. I kept the items of comfortable seating in a room close to mine that was once a place where teachers could eat lunch together. I had no other choice at the time. But, I held on to it all until now just hoping to make it back there one day. Sadly, the pieces have scattered and broken down in storage and I just don’t have it in me to go backward.
So, I finally got the gumption to commit to this idea of moving forward and removing all the old wooden pieces that we made together. I pulled up in a pickup on Sunday and loaded it all up.
It has been a difficult transition since the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 for me; the death of my father, an empty nest, 3 graduations, a new son-in-law, 2 new grandchildren, a devastating divorce, the loss of my home, 3 moves, 4 surgeries, a new house, oh yea – and COVID. (Not a comprehensive list, but rather rock solid overwhelming I would say.) Ridding my space of these old artifacts seemed like somewhat of a cleansing of all of that baggage, even if I do miss the old classroom.
Funny, I got through those years with a phrase from my mother’s dear friend, “just move forward with purpose. That’s all you can do.” And I did. And I do, now.
So, I come back to my classroom, day after day, and I still have so much that makes my room special to me – that makes it comfortable and inviting for my students; a place where they want to be. And today, as cheesy as it is, I still smiled at the boy who told me that I am what makes my classroom special. He’s right. I am. (Thank you for that, young man.)
Healing is hard work: surviving, recovering; letting go of dreams, ideals, and of actual things. Hard, hard work. It’s purposeful and mindful. It is hard, but it is good. I, am good.
I am grateful that my students remind me every day of my purpose, my value, and my direction. And I am mindful of that gratitude I carry in my heart, always.
In closing, my 3thing are: I am grateful for the end of an era; a bit of acceptance; and a new beginning. Thanks for reading.
I did not start this post thinking about it this way, but now that I am done I thought I would share with you the shirt that I created and sell on my new Etsy t-shirt shop, Char’s Heart. It’s part of that new beginning of which I spoke.
This is one of the shirts I made inspired by my experiences. Browse my shop. Every shirt has a story, however brief they may be. Thank you, again, for reading.