I have called my little school on the downtown east side of Vancouver home for 21 years. A lifetime of sorts. Many little lives have been part of mine.
I am a bat with ancient wings folded close. Black and leathery. Full of secrets. Lined in wisdom. Shimmering with history. I can stretch these wings wide and story after story shines bright, each one a most important star. Stories of children. Of families. Of hope. Heartache. Trauma. Resilience. Inspiration.
My memories were gifted to me in hugs and giggles. Through whispers and shouts. Confided. Shared. Shouted. Hinted at. Memories visit me on a soft warm wind. They bring me smiles and worry. But mostly joy.
In this old brick building, I have learned thousands of lessons. I have had hundreds of teachers. I have been surrounded by wisdom and wonder. I have made many mistakes. All of it has landed me here, knowing that I have some of it figured out and much to still learn. I haven’t heard it all. I can still be surprised. I can still be stopped cold. I can still feel like I’m floating. It is harder and easier and easier and harder. I am safe in that. There is security in knowing that what I bring each day is enough in the land of never enough and so much need. Everyday, I give. Everyday, I get. It’s not about balance or equal shares. It’s about what it is.
In September, I will not walk through these halls I have long called home. I will be somewhere else. I will not be gone. It’s not moving on. It’s not leaving. It’s beginning somewhere new. The teacher I am was made here. All of it will follow me. All of it will guide me.
As I begin to say goodbye, I acknowledge this.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.
Oh my. That is a bittersweet post. ‘Wondering what is next.
As am I! Job postings don’t come out until Early June. Waiting and wondering.
This place of never enough that made you. Oh how beautiful your words are. You gobsmack me every time I read you. What wonders await. Looking forward to it.
Thanks Julieanne. It is going to be a big change after so long in one place!
I am a bat.. love this paragraph and this piece, there is so much said here. Glad you’re embracing and appreciating each moment. Beautiful slice.
Many thanks Vanessa.
Oh my goodness, you are such a soulful writer! You create images that jump to life. I love reading your posts! I am sure that you have given way more than you could have received at your home school. Seems you are ready to spread your wings to new adventures.
Yes, to continue with the wing imagery – I am ready to swoop and soar in new places.
Oh my word, can’t wait to find out what you are doing! Your bat analogy reminds me of Silver Wing. xo
Yes, that is the book that inspired it! I have beautiful memories of reading that book aloud to a class years ago.
LOVE your writing, thank you so much for sharing it with us. Best wishes in your newest adventures, I’m sure amazing things lay ahead.
I sure hope so!
Such powerful writing Carrie! “Everyday, I give. Everyday, I get. It’s not about balance or equal shares. It’s about what it is.” I connected with so much of this. I’m leaving also, but it’s a different kind of leaving. There is much I won’t miss, but the kids, the wonder, the stories, the honesty will leave a hole I think.
Well . . . you can always come and visit me wherever I end up!! How fun would that be?
You know I wish you the best of wishes, Carrie, on your journey, now saying goodbye, & later beginning anew. Hugs!
I take those wishes Linda and hold them tight!
Love this slice of your life, filled with so many wonderful words and feelings that I can’t pick just one to love. What a lovely salute to your school and its experiences – “It’s not leaving. It’s beginning somewhere new. The teacher I am was made here. All of it will follow me. All of it will guide me.”
Looking forward to learning where you’re headed. Lucky folks to have you coming their way.
You are too kind Ramona. I hope there is a lot of lucky in my future! I feel like I have had a bit too much of unlucky this year in certain aspects of school. Thank goodness for the children, who I adore and am inspired by each day.
What enormous gifts you have given them in 21 years. Like ripples in the pond, they will spread out to do much more good in the world. Wherever you will land, they are blessed indeed!
Cathy, thanks so much for this.
21 years of memories and gifts that only teaching brings. I look forward to hearing about this next move, Carrie.
I look forward to knowing what it will be! Up in the air until job postings come out!
Your choice of language and imagery is exquisite. I know what it is like leaving a school after twenty years. I did that many years ago too. I look forward to following you on your journey. You are a gift for any school. Best wishes for this change.
Thank you Elsie. Good to know there are people out there who can relate to my journey!
This is huge! I wish you all the best in this transition and will be curious to hear what comes next.
It is huge. Deep breath!
The way you’ve chosen to write about moving forward to the next chapter of your life as an educator was exquisite. I know wonderful things are in store for you, Carrie.
Thanks so much Stacey. I sure hope so!
Wow. Such thrilling news for you. Wherever you go, whatever you next do will be done with grace and love. Namaste.
Thank you Mary Ann. Grace and love – this will be what I strive for!
Your writing is a thing of beauty! Please look for my post in the Mentor Text series as I used several of your posts as digital mentor texts for my own writing! You truly have a gift. Can’t wait to hear about your new chapter!
Kathleen, very complimentary. Many thanks! Look forward to reading your post!
Such beautiful words! I always enjoy your posts, Carrie. Best of luck to you as you begin your new adventure!
Thank you Jennifer. I am sure I will be writing more about this in next few months. Writing is processing.
I so love the way you write about matters of the heart, Carrie. xo
Thank you Julie. And for all of your support!
So beautiful Carrie! I wish you all the best!
I wish you well on your journey. P,lease continue to write. You have always inspired me. I’m am finishing 37 years of teaching and rely on people like you to keep me creative and reflective. All the best. Rosemary
This means a lot – thank you Rosemary.
Gorgeous writing Carrie. My thoughts are with you as you change paths. I love that line, “The teacher I am was made here.” We are shaped by our classes and colleagues. We grow into ourselves in each and every classroom where we work. I wish you the best as you go forward. 🙂
Many thanks Crystal. Your support means a lot to me!
This makes me sad. But I’m glad we connected before you left. Just today brought exciting opportunity that I need to talk to you about. I know we will continue to love kids together somehow.
Can’t wait to hear about it Susan!