Thursday, June 19, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

After serving as Department Chair for the last three years, and not teaching any classes, I am giving up the position to return to the classroom next year.  This week, with the school year over, I have started moving things into the classroom where I will be teaching next year.  I started by rearranging the desks into groups of four (my preferred seating arrangement) from the rows the previous teacher typically used.  I knew the desks would all be moved into the hall so the carpet could be cleaned, and I have no idea what formation the desks will take when they are moved back in, but I felt like I needed to put my house in order.

After twenty minutes of rearranging, checking sight lines and walking space, I stood in the middle of the room, and took a deep breath.  Remember that feeling when you arrive home after a vacation that's been fun, but you're glad to be back on really familiar and comfortable ground?  Standing in the middle of my new classroom, that's what I felt in that moment.  The last year, and especially the last six months as I have been transitioning out of the department chair role and helping someone new take over, have been emotional for me, and I have sometimes questioned my decision to return to the classroom.  In that moment, standing in a classroom bare of decoration, but with the desks arranged the way I like them, the worries of leadership drained away, and the thousand details about teacher schedules, new student placement, and department office construction, all disappeared, and for that moment I was exactly where I belonged.

I am looking forward to my students joining me in my new space.