Last Friday I experienced something I didn’t know I lacking, but needed: closure. You probably read me rambling about some decisions I made in the past year. The truth is, although I told myself to accept my own decisions and not look back, I couldn’t help but do it. All the time.
To be a bit more specific, I left a job I loved. A community I love, because schools are more than just work environments. You meet fantastic people, big and small (literally) and they can’t help but touch your life.
My main issue was that I never thought I would actually leave. I was well adapted, confident in how well I was doing and very much dreaming about staying until retirement rolled around. And then, through several events and circumstances, I had to make the decision to leave. It didn’t feel much like a choice, it felt like an obligation.
I cannot express the support I got from my coworkers and supervisors. You see, I didn’t only leave; I left in the middle of the school year. I felt like a traitor. A deserter. And they showed me love that made me see they thought nothing of the like about me.
Last week I got to go back. I secretly wanted to, but felt awkward about it. Thankfully, I got an invitation from my former boss to come, because my kids needed closure. So I went, loaded with home baked sugar cookies made with love.
I left home at 5.45am and took an hour and a half to get there. Nice reminder of why it just didn’t work. But as soon as I turned onto the main street that leads to the school, the waterworks began. I met my former coworkers outside and again, couldn’t help it. Went inside and saw some more teachers and my former boss, and again the tears flowed.
I managed to hold it when I was with the kids. All smiles. All about happiness. And they blew me away. Some were so much bigger after three months. Some were more mature. And they blew me away with their enthusiasm, love and behavior.
Their new teacher is fantastic, and the only reason why I considered leaving was because I knew she could step in. She told the kids to ask me questions, and I froze. Why did you leave us? Do you not love us? was going through my mind. None of that. They wanted to know about my new school, new students, and got a huge laugh to know that I am now surrounded by little kids and being called Miss Julie instead of Mrs. Jordão.
The best gift a teacher could ever get: a box full of lovely cards, which I'll treasure forever!
I am not sure they needed closure. Kids are resilient. Grownups, not so much. That’s why I was so thankful, because this half an hour truly allowed me to see that life goes on. And that although all kids are special, these will forever have a special place in my heart. Every single one of them.