I went back and it had only been a week and a half since the last day of school. I was only going to use the laminator in the workroom and head right back out the front door. I was waiting for the laminator to warm up and got curious. I began wondering what the room looked like now? Had anything been cleaned yet? Was everything out in the hallway? It hadn’t been that long since I left and I didn’t really want to know the answers to any of these questions but I took a walk down the hall to room 127 while the laminator warmed up.
I work really hard at the end of the year to finish up on our last teacher work day. I put the room to rest, my work to rest, and close the door. For years I’ve been under the assumption I do this to rush home and be a full time mother to my three girls. I love being with them full time. I was completely surprised to learn this may not be the only reason I put my room to rest, my work to rest, and close the door.
As I rounded the bend in my hallway I saw doors open in some rooms before mine and things shifted a bit but things weren’t out in the hallway and rooms empty. I kept walking even know I knew things were in the same place as when I left. I walked in and it felt all out of sorts. A few physical things had been moved. My carpet might have been cleaned and then I froze. Strange feelings surfaced. I felt alone. I started envisioning my students working collaboratively at the tables. I started seeing the books and writing/creating tools on the shelves as they should be. I started to feel lonely and creepy at the same time. This is my space and yet it felt all wrong.
It felt all wrong because I was hanging on to what and who I had. I think putting my room to rest, my work to rest, and closing the door has done more than let me be a full time mom. It’s let me savor the end of the school year with a community I came to adore. It’s let me read professional books and connect with others on social media with open eyes and for myself. Maybe having time to think on my own without student faces in front of me gives me a clearer space for thinking ahead. I think summers are more than trips to the pool and physical rest. I think we need time to process the year and put to rest what is behind us. I think space away from my classroom has let me find time to open my heart and thinking to a new set of students.