Packing Up For The Last Time

The annual March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted at Two Writing Teachers.

Nine years.  I dig slowly through the book bins, checking for beloved texts.  Sometimes flipping through, sometimes putting them in my box, most times returning them to the bin.  As the books tilt forward I see a sea of my name scrawled on the top of so many of them.  Nine years left behind.

The boxes I pack are few.  What good will these items be in a basement?  I leave them behind as a mark, as something to say “I was here.”  I taught in this room.  I learned in this room.  I laughed, and cried, and grew up in this room.

I’m left in the wood floor, the scratch behind the door.  I’m still here in the book shelves, the left over chart paper, the closet of neatly organized book club books.

Like a siren fading away, loud at first, then slowly disappearing with echoes off the buildings.  Silence.


I hope you had the time of your life.

Moving forward into the unknown.  Hope for new learning, new energy, new connections, new inspirations, new idea, and new memories.

Like a Phoenix I’ve come to the end, burst into flames, now I sweep up the ashes of my own cycle, to be reborn again.

Categories: Uncategorized | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Packing Up For The Last Time

  1. As I read your post I feel deep pain, yet hope for new journeys. Joy for the lives you interacted with. You captured all these emotions and allowed me a glimpse at the depth. May your new chapter be filled with hope and joy.

  2. I have a friend doing the same thing.
    Your comparisons are beautiful! Here’s to your hopes being something new and wonderful!

  3. I was at my school for almost 8 years when I left. It was bittersweet, for sure. I was a baby when I first started teaching and left a seasoned professional. Good luck!

  4. What lovely words, all combined perfectly to paint a vivid scene. I loved the sentence, “I’m left in the wood floor, the scratch behind the door.” You perfectly capture how endings fade into new beginnings. I really enjoyed this post.

  5. Love your descriptions . . .”As the books tilt forward I see a sea of my name scrawled on the top of so many of them. Nine years left behind.”

    Endings . . . and full circle to new beginnings!

  6. Katie, I do not know what your new journey will bring but know a bit about how you have handled past changes through what you have shared here. Leaving and arriving stir up many emotions. You have captured that so eloquently. Through all you bring YOU and that is MORE than enough to accomplish your goals! Blessings!

  7. I wrote about leaving, too, Katie, but did bring most of my things home, will share with other teachers at places that need them. Your journey’s end sounds sad, & I hope it’s just the sadness of leaving. Sometimes when a door closes, a new & better one does open, one we may not even know of yet. I wish you the best of wishes for whatever step is next.

  8. Without goodbyes, we cannot have new beginnings. Here’s to your new beginnings — may they be all you hoped for and more!

  9. Letting go is so hard, even when it’s for the things you wanted, and it was of your own doing. That room will always hold a piece of you – lucky room. Good luck in your new ventures, my friend.

  10. Unknown is scary, but you will face the challenge and come out on the other side more knowledgeable. Best of luck to you! I hope you continue your coffee fueled musings.

  11. There will be good vibes in that room. The next teacher is bound to have your enthusiasm for teaching and respect for all learners rub off on him/her.

  12. You always write so beautifully. A bittersweet transition. I’m so excited for what comes next for you!

  13. Beautiful post. As I pack up my office after 5 years here in Shanghai, I feel the same way. Let’s hope our new posts bring us both joy! 🙂

  14. Katie, sending hugs from central Illinois. You will do amazing things on your new journey, but I know leaving behind the known is so difficult.

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