Posted in 2017, Classroom, One Little Word, Reflection, Slice of Life

#SOL17 Day 18: The Announcement

Today my district announced staff moves and assignments for the next school year in response to the opening of a new school and redistricting. You can read more about this in a previous post here.

Before the announcement:

  • Our parent group generously provided breakfast for us as the kindest of gestures after a long week of conferences, counting down to Spring Break, and waiting. We nervously shuffled in and tried to make small talk. Some people hid their nerves, while others could talk of nothing else.
  • We all tried to keep our mornings fun and busy with our kids as we counted down the moments to Spring Break. We did Breakout Edu, novel engineering, and a variety of other hands-on STEM activities to keep the kids engaged and teachers busy. I worked with my kindergarten mentee and several other people from the district to implement our first trial of Breakout Edu with kindergarteners–a fabulous way to lose track of an hour and a half having fun (I’ll have to share that experience in a future post).
  • We honored St. Patrick’s Day. My principal popped in and out of classrooms dressed as a leprechaun from head to toe. Each of us wore something green and kept the spirit of the day fun and lighthearted with leprechaun read alouds, gold coins, and festive outfits.
  • Our cell phones buzzed all morning with messages from friends and colleagues in other buildings who had already been told of their movement and placements (my building was the most impacted, so we had to be told as a whole staff at once because our administrators didn’t have time to reach all of us in a half day of school). News spread like wildfire. Anxiety began to increase.
  • A few brave souls asked my principal for the time of the announcement. He told them 12:20. It didn’t really matter what time he said–any more time spent waiting seemed like too much at that point.
  • We packed the kids up, wished them well on the break, and dismissed them to buses and parents as quickly as possible.
  • I ate all of the chocolate that was left in my office. It wasn’t enough.
  • We began gathering in small groups around the building. Some people wanted to be alone. Some wanted anything but solitude. Everyone began refreshing their email obsessively.

At 12:17, each of us received an email welcoming us to to our 2017-18 teaching assignment.

After the announcement:

  • I teared up before I even opened the email and read the words I’d been hoping to see.
  • It slowly sank in that I will be going to open the new school with my principal (who I absolutely love working for) and several of my colleagues. I will be teaching fifth grade along with another mentor who will be returning to the classroom, too.
  • I realized the names that were missing on the roster for the new school, friends who have been chosen to stay behind to continue making my current school as amazing as it always has been. My heart ached over the fact that we can’t all stay together.
  • People around me began to react. Silence. Some in tears. Some in shock. Much disbelief. A few wondering who would fill out their new team, as we only saw a roster with names of our current staff and blanks where transfers from other buildings fit.
  • We slowly dispersed, Spring Break beginning. Some people left right away, needing some time alone. Some people stayed and processed together.
  • I reached out to my new teammates, telling them each how excited I am to work with them. They responded to share their excitement, too.
  • Eventually, I left school, torn between hope and excitement for the changes to come and sadness for those who didn’t receive the placement they hoped they would get.

I don’t know what will happen next. Spring Break will give all of us a week to process, to think, to prepare ourselves for change. We have several months of transitions ahead of us. Though they will be difficult months, my only hope is that they will also be months filled with hope, optimism, and peace as we build our new reality together. Above all, my One Little Word for 2017 will continue guiding me though the changes ahead: Embrace.

Image result for new beginnings quotes


I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
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Author:

Teacher, mentor, reader, writer, mother, wife Lover of good books, chocolate chip cookies, and sunny days

47 thoughts on “#SOL17 Day 18: The Announcement

  1. The anxiety in waiting is overwhelming. So nice to hear you are content with the change, and that you will continue to have strong leadership. The tension in this piece grew nicely – moment by moment, feeling upon feeling. I really liked this line, “I ate all of the chocolate that was left in my office. It wasn’t enough.” Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Embrace” seems to be the perfect way for you to have this experience. I wonder how you would have felt if you had not been chosen to go to the new school with the principal you love. Life is full of good luck/bad luck experiences; you were lucky today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I love the school I’m in now and everyone in it–staying would have been a fantastic option, too. BUT I moved into this school as a mentor (instructional coach) and have never had my own classroom in the building–which is why I felt a move would give me the best fresh start. I wouldn’t have considered myself unlucky to stay–but I am lucky for an opportunity that gives me a new beginning when changing roles next year. 😀

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  3. Phew, tough times. Hard to have those bittersweet feelings. I am glad you got the move you hoped for and hope the week off helps everyone to feel more settled as you finish out the year strong. Change is a constant in schools for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on finally getting the news and having it be news that is full of excitement and possibility. It must have been incredibly emotional to all get that news together and know that so many mixed emotions were in the room.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Waiting can be nerve wrecking. This part is over. Now the next tough part is saying good-byes and making the change happen. Enjoy your spring break and take your mind off school for some time.

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  6. Your post literally had my heart pounding. The anxiety and stress of not knowing was palpable. Trying to run things as normal but feeling that under current not knowing your future. Hope you can just enjoy your break now. It’s nice they let you know before you left!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the way you ended this piece with the word “embrace.” The wait for news such as this is always difficult. I went through a similar experience when my district reorganized elementary schools in a k-2, 3-5 plan. I moved to the new intermediate building, and it was hard to leave colleagues behind. I especially missed my principal, but I grew to love working with my new one. Enjoy your much-deserved break!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a feeling that no matter your assignment, you would have embraced it and made the best of it. Our district will be making changes this year as well, they have not indicated when they will let staff know. That is rough- good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been eagerly anticipating your news as if it was my own. Years ago, I was one of the new staff that came to round out changes that had happened to create a new building. One of the healers, I hope, to marry ideas built in building cultures together to make a beautiful different synergy. Growth is difficult, but so necessary for the seeds of change to take root. To come to all of it with a willing heart and a positive stance. Expect great things and they will come.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This too shall settle in and feel comfortable! I’ve been through a couple of major upheavals, and when the dust settles, teachers do what they do best – adapt and teach!
    I loved “I ate all of the chocolate that was left in my office. It wasn’t enough.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This perfectly captured yesterday! I love your quote at the end. Hopefully, everyone disappointed with their placement will be able to embrace the new change, too and gain new team members they love. Regardless, we are all still in great schools with great leaders!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The shock is always the hardest part of change. Like you said, embrace this change, because it is what will make you grow and enrich your teaching life! At least you know and there’s no more waiting and wondering!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Waiting for news like this is so hard and your writing captured the anticipation of the announcement. Congratulations on your new assignment. I am sure you are filled with all kinds of emotions, but try to enjoy your spring break!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sarah, this unfolding sequence of events that you captured so well (the suspense!) really hits home with me. My school’s principal left in December to open a new school – he can take a percentage of staff with him. We are very much in transition, waiting for our new administrator to be announced next week. We won’t know about staff changes until later but as I read I thought about how painful it is to be uprooted from a good place to be planted somewhere else. You will bloom there and you will nurture others around you to bloom – they need you! Strength to you and I hope to hear more later on how it’s going.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The word, embrace, is working beautifully for you. I am glad that your new position will allow you to embrace change in a positive way. Supporting those who need your help will be a good challenge. Enjoy your break.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Why do these things always have to be accompanied by so much drama? At my school, actually in my whole board, none of us will know for sure what is happening next year until June, and what we are told in in June is to understand that even that assignment isn’t set in stone. Good luck with your move!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post! I look forward to reading more about what you eluded to in the beginning- Breakout Edu? I teach kindergarten and am always looking for new things to try out!
    Enjoy the rest of your school year and good luck with the new school!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is one of the most stressful times of the year for educators – the dispersing of FTE. Ours will be revealed on the day before spring break as well, but we won’t know changes until the week after. Such unknown – that almost always settles down into something good in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I could feel your anxiety. I was part of schools merging five years ago. It was very emotional because the school I worked at for 23 years was closing and merging with two other schools. It was a little rocky at first, but I am very happy now. How exciting that you get to open a new school! Good Luck.
    ritadicarne.com

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Your writing captured my attention from the beginning, and you held me in suspense until the end. Just like you, I really wasn’t that interested in what you did in class that day, because I JUST WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU! Congratulations on your next adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It wasn’t intentionally supposed to be that way. We were supposed to find out the night before but that wasn’t in alignment with the other buildings. They didn’t want to tell us while kids were still present at school knowing some people would be upset, and with a staff of 60+ there was no way to personally deliver every assignment. The good part is people got to choose when they opened the email and who they wanted to be surrounded by when they did it! I, too, hope spring break helps everyone recharge! Thanks for the kind thoughts!

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  21. I love that your one word is, embrace. You are right. You will continue to embrace the change that lies before you and will make the best of the situation. I hope you have a good spring break, even though I can imagine it was a challenging start. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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