Josh and I went to Hyde today and went through the whole classroom to box up my stuff. I was super thankful that I carefully labeled stuff as either “Hyde” or “Lewis” depending on who paid for it, that made it easy for me to find what was mine and box it up. I had several boxes of plastic toys (dinosaurs, lobsters, etc.) that I used for drawing lessons, wide-up toys that were for stress-release races, a ton of art books, my curriculum binders, some art supplies, a couple of rugs, some tools, a bunch of postcards from my museum trips, lamps, and who knows what else. A lot of stuff – that’s what you collect over six years as an art teacher. A lot of things that were mine we decided to just donate because they were of much needed use there.
Josh, Caleb, and I were there for about four hours packing things up and loading them into our cars. Then, just after 7 p.m., I did a last check through the room, stood in the doorway, said a prayer, flipped off the lights, then locked and closed the door for the last time. I held my breath as the door slammed closed, recognizing the symbolism of another chapter of my life closed.
In the car, I turned on NPR and A Prairie Home Companion was on. That, combined with the bad weather, made it feel like I was back in Minnesota. Caleb snored in his car seat and the rain beat down on my car. I had to concentrate on breathing slowly, rhythmically because it seemed to be too much to take in.
I went in to Hyde today to give my resignation. I don’t think anyone was surprised that I did and the principal said that I was a great teacher and that I’d be hard to replace. That was really nice. I then went to the district office and put in my resignation there. It felt sad in one sense, but was a huge weight off my shoulders in another sense.
It has set in that I am not returning to my job as an art teacher. I’ve been thinking about pursuing other more flexible career paths, probably something that uses my IT & Design skills. For now, though, my hands are plenty full caring for Caleb and trying to take control of the giant storage closet that is my house. I’m actually a little frightened of how much work it is going to take to get the clutter and disarray in my house under control, but what did I expect after several years of stuff-neglect? I’ve got a plan though so it should be in order in no time.