Slice of Life: A New Chapter

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Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.
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Seven years ago this past May, I was hired by Principal Laura Williams to be a fourth grade teacher at Minges Brook Elementary. My wife and I had just had a baby, so finding out that I had a “real job” was one of the most exciting days of my life.

The six school years that I have spent at Minges Brook Elementary have been the best 6 years of my life. During the last six years: my wife and I brought two children into the world, I saw my wife complete an Ironman, I joined Twitter, helped start the Nerdy Book Club, and I grew tremendously as a teacher.

I have so much more to learn as a teacher, but that learning will not take place at Minges Brook Elementary. Last week I was offered an interview for a job that I was not seeking. I had every intention of teaching the next 30 years at Minges Brook Elementary. When I was asked if I would be interesting in interviewing my curiosity got the best of me. You see, the school that reached out to me is the school that I attended as a child. It is the school that I walked to every single day from kindergarten to fifth grade. It is a school that I can see my parents’ house from. Parma Elementary, the school, is home.

After interviewing on Thursday, I decided that if I was offered the job I would turn it down. The school seemed great, but I just coudn’t see myself leaving Minges Brook Elementary. I was offered the job later that day, and I decided that I would like to chat more with the principal before making a decision. After touring the school, and chatting with the principal for 90 minutes I was leaning towards taking the job.

On Friday morning I met with the district superintendent to discuss the job. We chatted for over an hour, and I had a good feeling in my gut about the direction the district would like to head. I felt that I had a lot to offer the district that helped make me the man I am today.

I took the job.

I thought that the hardest part about taking the job would be leaving the students. Minges Brook Elementary is a K-4 building, so my fourth graders always left at the end of the year and went to the middle school. I will still miss them stopping by and checking out books, and I will miss the families and the younger siblings that I was planning on teaching. However, the thing that has been the hardest is saying goodbye to my colleagues. I am going to miss everyone. I could go on and on in this post about what they have meant to me both personally and professionally, but I am sure that everyone reading this blog post understands the bond that you create with your team.

As I begin this new chapter in my life, I’d like to thank all of you that have helped me become the teacher that I am today. Without you and your support I am sure that I never would have gotten myself to a place where someone would call me and ask if I would like to interview.

Thank you.

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31 thoughts on “Slice of Life: A New Chapter

  1. Congratulations, Colby on your new position! Change is hard and exciting all at the same time. While leaving people is hard, you’ll never truly leave them due to your blogs and Twitter. Best wishes! Still 4th grade?

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  2. Loved this post, Colby. When I 1st started teaching I always dreamed of teaching at my old elementary school, but don’t think it’s in the cards for me. Very different situation & locale than yours, I think.
    And wow, to be tracked down and offered the interview/position. Kudos to you. I also love how reflective you were, and that you revisited with the principal & then met with the superintendent.
    Am I remembering correctly that your mom is the lunch lady at this same school? Or am I confused?
    I am so excited that you are teaching 3rd grade; I will learn so much from you! I am thrilled to have a mentor (even though I have been teaching for much, much longer!) Did I read somewhere that Franki Sibberson is teaching 3rd also? And is that new for her?
    I know change is hard, and it’s difficult to say goodbye; I admire your willingness to try something different.
    And finally, let me say, I think you will love 3rd grade!
    Congrats again, and best wishes on your new adventure!

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  3. Sometimes life throws a zinger that makes it hard to choose what would be best. It sounds as if you thought and considered quite a lot before deciding. Congratulations on your new position and best of wishes next year. I guess we who read your posts will hear some of what’s going on! Will you stay in 4th grade?

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  4. Congratulations on this exciting and bittersweet surprise! I teach in the district that I grew up in, so I understand how much that means. I hope it’s every bit as delightful for you as it has been for me! (And welcome to the Slice of Life community! We are excited to have someone as special as you!)

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  5. Congrats! What an honor…to give back in the school you went to. This year, we will have two teachers on our team who attended our elementary school. It is fun to watch and to help them grow professionally. Best of luck!

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  6. Congratulations! Leaving one teaching job for another is always so hard. It’s such an emtional investment and journey! What I’ve found is that no matter where you go, the kids are always great. And the fact that you followed your gut is a guarantee that you will have an amzing new experience. Best of luck and enjoy!

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  7. Congrats Colby! Just think — all fresh new faces to watch you jump on desks and share your book love! Can’t wait to hear all about your journey this year.

    Delighted that you are “slice of life” writing too!
    Michelle

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  8. What an exciting new chapter for you and your family. I have a strong feeling that you will still be including Minges Brook in your daily life too. I am just excited about all the new people the rest of us will come to know, and interact with, as you begin to ntroduce Parma peeps to the #nerdybookclub and to Twitter PLNs. Wonderful wishes for a successful move.

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  9. Congratulations on the new job. I made a similar change in a similar way 15 years ago. I still look back some days, and still wonder what if….but I am a better, different person from having more experiences. We only really learn and grow when we are a bit “out of our comfort zone.” I am SURE you will continue to be an inspiration for ALL you meet as you are for me!

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  10. Congratulations, Colby! And though you have this appropriately bittersweet feeling going on, the positive is that the internet makes it easy to stay in touch! 🙂 Good luck as you step into your new “old” world 🙂

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