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Day Four: Serially Lost
Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.
Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
The loss I experienced was the loss of my teaching career.
Part One:….how it felt…..
Losing my teaching career was one of the most devastating things that ever happened to me. A true bombshell. I felt utterly lost. It was as though a giant bumblebee had come down and was buzzing around my head and I could hear and react to nothing. I certainly felt numb.
It was heartbreaking to leave my beautiful classroom. I had worked so very hard to create a wonderful space for these kids who had so little. Lots of weekends spent bargaining at garage sales for furniture and supplies and books paid off in a well stocked colorful room. There were hours and hours of blood, sweat, and tears in that room and the effort it took to keep it up with thirty kids in there. It was hard to say good-bye.
I knew I would miss the camaraderie of the staff. I was the kind of person that always greeted everyone every day and tried to say something nice. I found this paid off in people who were pretty friendly. However, I didn’t feel like I’d be losing many close friends. I’d only been at the school three years and although I had “social” friends there, I only had two good friends. I knew these people would continue to be part of my life. There were even one or two, like the creepy assistant principal, that I wouldn’t miss at all.
Guilt was another feeling I had. I was leaving a cute, enthusiastic, young student teacher behind. I scrambled and found her another placement, but it wouldn’t have been as good as mine. (not trying to brag here, just the facts! 🙂
The kids were the major cause of guilt, of course. They were so poor but the school offered a lot of services to them: clothes, the dentist, a clinic, supplemental food, charity toys and parties at the holidays, you name it. I was the gatekeeper for all of this. I noticed when they needed new shoes. I arranged for the big company to get the right toys at Christmas. I made sure some of them got food bags over the weekend. I worried about the next teacher knowing how to do this all the right way. It took some finesse.
Oh gosh, the teaching. I had trained endlessly to teach English as a Second Language. I knew it backward and forward. All of that wasted learning! And there was such a shortage of teachers in our area with those certificates. I worked so hard on the reading, writing, grammar, and math. I always bemoaned the fact that we had so little time for science and social studies.
Those were the negative emotions I had. I had a few positive ones. A part of me felt very free. No more dragging it out of bed to be there so early. No more coming home and collapsing on the couch. Terribly boring staff meetings were a thing of the past, as were office politics. No more standardized tests! That all felt very good.
It was a mixed rush of emotions, brought on fiercely by happening in such a very short time.
TO BE CONTINUED
Part Two: why it happened
Part Three: what changed because of it