We've made it to the turning point.
When we return from break it will be time to begin graduation practice (for 5th grade), do intense reteaching, especially in math, to make sure kids master what they need to before they leave the grade, and fill them with all I can, academically and otherwise, before I leave.
I'm not sure that I've stated it officially here, but I will be leaving at the end of the year.
I will remain in NYC, and I will be teaching kids of the same socioeconomic population....but I will be joining a staff at a school that does it the right way. It will mean moving to Brooklyn, and working long hours (it's a charter school), and not belonging to the UFT anymore....and I'm so ready.
The only hard part is leaving my kids. With under 2 months left, it doesn't seem real.
"They'll write....you'll always be in touch....they're your babies," assure other teachers at my school.
"You'll always know them. You're a family," one said to me the other day.
"But what if they don't?" I asked.
"They will," she said.
But what if they don't.......
And I realize that I need them probably more than they need me. They have been my life for 2 years. The reason I gave up a world I had built somewhere else to move to a city where I knew no one. The reason I went in to work sick, exhausted, and stressed beyond comprehension. The reason I can't imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.
They are not just my students.
They were the first....and goodbye is not an option.