I thought the hardest part of yesterday would be giving my keys back. Not so much. I stood with Matt and Jane in the car park, just not wanting to leave, after sitting with them in the staff room, not wanting to leave. What a day. And, I think almost every aspect of my teaching career happened yesterday (no referrals, thank god). So much love. So overwhelmed. Still. I had work after work. I cried on the way home. During 2016, every morning on the drive to work, I cried and belted out Defying Gravity from Wicked. It got me through by reminding me to stand in my power. I decided to listen to it, on repeat, in the car yesterday morning. So much more power now, in those lyrics, and I realised that I had been setting intentions for my life; I am now starting to realise those intentions. I am excited for new pathways. I know my time in school education as a full time permanent teacher is at an end; I need to continue to grow. Today though, I am a little sad. A little scared. A little deer in the headlights lol. Not really the last one. I was being a little funny. When I returned to Reddall this year, and all year, I didn’t really feel like I was making much of an impact. I felt a lot like I had disappeared into the ether. Yesterday reminded me how significant even the seemingly non existent things can be to other people. Just the energy we have as individuals can impact other people. The most humbling parts of yesterday were the genuine moments of honest love. One of my colleagues knitted me an incredibly beautiful and warm shawl, and gave me a beautiful brooch to close it with. I had seen this type of a brooch as a child and I had always longed to have one. She didn’t know that, but I did. I still haven’t been able to finish reading her card. One line in and I was a mess. Such gratitude. Thank you, Kathryn. The kids. Notes from unexpected places. Hugs. Tears. Genuine love. Readings from Lucy Cavendish’s new deck – the irony – thank you, Margarita. Beautiful words shared from my the people who see me every day in the staffroom – who laugh at my jokes, listen to my whinging and whom I share my dysfunction with. I still get that choke in my throat. Some of the students made these wonderful cardboard posters and got kids to write a message – I haven’t read all of the messages yet, but I’m excited to. I only taught one class yesterday, for a double, and we watched Remember the Titans. Timeless classic. At the end of the lesson, one of the kids stayed, and cried with me. He said, “I love you. I’m going to miss you. Why do you have to leave?” I cry again now. He’s a beautiful boy. Hard to explain it to the kids – it’s time to move on, I’ve been doing this for so long now, I need a change – none soothe their feelings of loss. I’ll be honest though, it surprised me how many kids, without drama, expressed this, yesterday and in the lead up. Very humbling. And, again, I’m very grateful. My sister, AP at the primary school I taught a few casual days at during last year, left me a message to let me know that one of the Year 6 students was sad I wouldn’t be at Reddall next year. I can’t say the exact words because it dissolves me into tears. I think I thought I was past the ability to make kids feel. I don’t think I quite believe who I am. Isn’t it funny – all this growth and I still don’t truly get my impact on other people, especially kids. I think because I’ve always looked at what I get and how I feel – I have mostly always felt so blessed to be a teacher. Man, I’ve got some healing to do lol. The best parts of teaching are the relationships and the light bulb moments when you can see that the kids get something for the first time. I have been so blessed in my career to have many of both. I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve grown up through being a teacher and teaching. I am grateful for all of it. And, I am so grateful to every single person who has walked the journey to this point with me, including the kids and experiences and staff that have taught me through the pain. One very lucky woman here.