I was driving back to my parent's house the other day and realized that it would be the perfect time to stop by the school I used to work at. The school day was done and most of my friends would still be there. What better than to drop in and surprise people? So I did.
I parked in the back where I used to park and thankfully one fo the gym doors was open. They are supposed to be locked at all times but they weren't...that hasn't changed. I walked down the hall towards my old classroom hoping to see J, who teaches theater and was across the hall from me. A new teacher was in her doorway talking to her as she closed her door, ready to head to a meeting. She squeled when she saw me and gave me a big hug. I know she misses me and we have plans to get together while I'm here. I need to meet her youngest son and can't wait to see how big the other one's gotten. Her squel drew the orchestra teacher, M out and I got a hug from her too. It was so great to see them and do a little catching up. Then I headed to see B and I surprised her too. I saw the occupational therapist on the way. I stuck my head in his office and said hi. He looked up and said hi. I could see the recognition cross his face and then the surprise. I fit in the setting since I used to work here but it took a second to sink in that I was there since I don't work there anymore. It was great to see pictures of his kids and how big they've gotten. After I talked with him & B I went to the office to let them know I was visiting (should have done that first but oh well). I was hoping to see the secretaries but they had already left. I did see the vice principal. It was the recognition and shock all over again. I loved watching people's faces! She told me that I should come back to see the secretaries and other people. It's great to know that I can go back during the school day to see more people and maybe some kids. Visitiors aren't always welcome since they can disrupt classes and it's nice to know I'm a welcome visitor! I had the current 8th graders when they were in 6th grade and it will be interesting to see if any of them remember me.
The school looked mostly the same. Being back felt right. I miss my colleagues and the kids but DO NOT miss the politics. So many things have been going on and I was caught up on a few. It makes me glad that I'm not there dealing with it. The class sizes have gotten so big! Some classes have 35 kids in it! I can't imagine the discipline issues that come up with having that make kids. The schedules keep changing as well. I know many of the teachers are just thankful to have a job even with the undesirable changes. I'm not sure I like the direction public school education is headed (to be honest, I am sure...I don't like what it's becoming!) and am thankful to know there are still teachers who are working hard to do the best they can. I worked at a good school with some amazing people. I'm thankful I can say that!