In a little less than eight hours I will begin my last day of teaching at Roosevelt Middle School. In five days, I’ll attend a final even hosted by fellow Crops Members and at its conclusion I will get in my car and I will drive to Arkansas. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
And so, here it is: the end.
It came slowly this time around. At the end of college, which I wrote about in one of my very first posts for this site, I spent 10 crazy days finishing everything. I went through my final SGA meeting as Speaker of the House, Candlepass Ceremony for my fraternity, and the Rec Center Banquet for my job, then took my finals, graduated, and moved out. All in a measly week and a half.
Here, it’s been a long time coming. The breakup, then middle school soccer season ending, then my last professional development, then finals week for grad school, then Alumni Induction, then my adult soccer league ending, and just yesterday I left my key in my house, left it for the last time, and retreated to Gramps’ place to wait out these last few days.
Interestingly enough, this has all been a much calmer process than last year’s finale. I remember being terribly burnt out on everything. Not just teaching, but myself, my life, and my newfound home. After testing, I lost all investment from my students. I remember writing a post titled “How Can Dalton Get His Groove Back?”.
This year, I never lost it. Since testing ended, we’ve read an entire novel and the kids’ dedication never wavered.
When my last day ended a year ago, I remember just feeling empty, drained. The kids left at the end of the day and for quite some time I simply sat in my chair and let the year wash over me. This year, the last day will end and I will run a couple of errands, grab a six-pack, and then spend time with my friends. I can’t tell you why but everything is different from last year.