My Next Chapter

 

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There comes a time in your life when you know something has to change.  Your kids are growing up and doing their own thing and I wanted to do my own thing…which was to go back to teaching preschool.  The opportunity came up while I was scrolling through my Instagram photos and an add popped up for a Preschool Teacher opening at a Childcare Center here in Burnsville.  The picture above it was a little boy reading with a Grandma.  This intrigued me, so I investigated this site and knew right away, this was what I’ve been looking for.   I immediately sent my resume and was called the very next week.  I felt that the interview went well, and 24 hours later, I got the call and was offered the position.  I was so excited!!  Then it hit me…I will actually be leaving Hidden Valley, where I’ve spent the last 12 years of my career.  Sadness and no sleep for the next two days as I pondered over how to tell my favorite people in the world…my co-workers, who are also my best friends, that I have taken another job.

The day finally came when I had to tell them and I cried all day.  I was a mess, but of course, my co-workers were very supportive and giving me hugs along with their positive comments.   It was very strange and didn’t seem real.  I now had two more weeks with everyone and I was relaxed and stress-free for the most part.   Then on my second-to-last day, they surprised me with a beautiful cake.  Okay, here I go again with the tears…which then led to a headache.  But it was all good.

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Thursday was my last day and it was such a hard day and yes…more crying.  The kids made me cards and all the fourth graders yelled goodbye to me as I left their classrooms.  So touching because I’ve known those kids since Kindergarten.  I was nice to be recognized by them and they made such fun cards and nice well wishes for me.  Here are a few…

Some of the teachers also asked me to stop in their room at some point and had nice cards, gift cards, and even some bags of goodies to get me started in my new classroom.  And our friend Emily, colored a card with a beautiful tree, to go along with her socks & chocolates.  Love it all!  So sweet of them.

As the school day came to an end, I always take our 4th grade friends out to the bus.  On this day, I required a selfie of us and hugs from them all.  I got many hugs and cries of “Don’t go Ms Solberg!”  and “Who will be our teacher now?”  and “Who will take us to the bus?”, but the most important question they had was…”Who will give us Skittles when your gone?”  ha!   I assured them that they will be taken care of.   I also had to take a picture with one of my favorite guys that I will miss a lot.  He is non-verbal and I’ve been working with him since Kindergarten.  He is now a 2nd grader and we have become close buddies.  I can’t wait to go back and visit these kiddos already.

Now, on to the ASD team.  I can’t say enough about these ladies that I’ve worked with for so long.  We’ve been though a lot together in school and out of school.  We’ve gotten to know each other’s husbands, kids, boyfriends, and even grandkids.  These ladies are very special to me and I am starting to tear up just trying to write this.  I told Jean a couple weeks ago that I feel like Dorothy leaving Oz.   Well, she took it to the next level and they gave me the best keepsake gift anyway could ask for.   I got a book called, The Wizard of Odd (because lets face it, we have many odd things that happen to us daily, in this ASD world).  Some good, some bad, but we get through it.

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All the characters are represented and the staff signed hearts filled with wonderful things to say on each page to cheer me on.  I was overwhelmed.  I couldn’t even read it until the next day.  Even the custodian and lunch ladies signed my book.

As I opened my cards the next day, I also found that they gave me a gift certificate for a nail salon I like, to get a manicure and pedicure.  How perfect…they know me so well.  We told each other that this isn’t goodbye, it’s just “see ya later”.   I know this will be true, because these ladies are my circle of friends and we will still do our activities outside of work and will keep up with each other lives.  Luckily, Laura is my neighbor, so we will still ‘see each other at the fence’ as we like to say.

It didn’t end there.  Jean also planned a happy hour for after work.  It was the perfect ending to a very emotional day.  So many people came and I felt so loved.  There were the Hidden Valley EA’s, some favorite teacher friends of mine, and even some EA’s from another school that I’ve gotten to know throughout the years.  It was one of those moments where I looked around and realized how lucky I am.  (okay, starting to cry again).  What a great night and I really needed some fun, laughter, and a beer.  I think everyone had a good time as well.  We EA’s love our get-togethers.   Thank you all!

It was time to go home and try to get my head to stop spinning.  When I walked into the house, there was a bottle of wine with a red bow on it.  Even my husband was thinking of me.   We’ll have to make a special dinner and celebrate with this lovely Shiraz.  My favorite.  He too, knows me well.   Kelly colored a cute apple tree for me that I will take to school and hang somewhere in my classroom and think of her when I look at it.  She said the apples remind her of school.   Love them both!

 

It has taken me a couple of days to really come down from this whirlwind event.  I have actually been dizzy for two days and am finally feeling better today.  The price you pay for excitement, I guess.

Now I’m looking forward to moving on and getting started at my new job.  I have orientation all this week, then I believe I will begin the following week.  I will be co-teaching with another gal (Miss Jenny) and we will be with the 3&4 year olds.  Looking forward to meeting her and joining this group of girls for my next chapter.  It’s time to turn the page.

Winnie the Pooh said it best and its truly what I have been thinking for the past two weeks…

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7 comments

  1. Now that was beautiful blog
    You have an amazing adventure infront of you and I am super excited for you.
    The girls over at Hidden Vallley will indeed miss you but that just a reason to gather for days out and evening together.
    Can’t wait to hear all about all your new little friends and the fun you will have.

  2. Awwwwww…. Cath…. I so feel your mixed feelings in having to leave people you love but anticipating a new adventure. The Winnie the Pooh phrase is so perfectly true! You have been blessed to play a significant role in the lives of your students and co-workers and they will never forget you. Bless you as you move into this new career! You will love it!

  3. I’m teary eyed reading this. It takes a lot of courage to make a change like this, good for you. Best of luck, look forwarding to hearing all about the new job.

  4. Holy Moly, I am crying after reading this!!! What a beautiful send off. And what a fun adventure ahead. Good luck Cathy, can’t wait to hear all about your new school.

  5. I’m so excited to hear about your new adventure! We will have to get together soon and chat. 🙂

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