Saying Goodbye

It’s been a rough few weeks, for sure. At times, it’s felt like all we can do to keep our heads above the water as wave after wave hits us.

The end of a school years always makes us look back on classes and students and what went well (Senior Project completion for the win) and what didn’t (one word: Shakespeare). This year, though, was a little more hard-hitting than that. We ended up looking closer at some students than we ever thought we would. In such a rural area, things just don’t happen. Accidents happen, sure. We saw that all too well with the loss of a student last year. But things don’t generally intentionally happen.

And so, goodbye to our idealistic setting.

Then, with our minds still reeling from that crippling realization, we lost one of our own. Not suddenly, but with warning, but I don’t think that ever makes it any easier. The notes and the flowers around the Veteran’s Memorial outside of the school are a minuscule testament to the impact MSG King had on the school and community-not to mention our country. A tough man, sure, but equally compassionate and willing to help. Who else would tell me that my high heels were an impractical shoe choice if we got attacked, and then would proceed to show me how to use them to my advantage against someone?

And so, goodbye to MSG Brian King.

To top it all off, my classroom is now as empty and sad as the week I found out I had a job at Madison. Only two boxes of desk stuff and materials and (only) twenty of books. A stack of laminated posters and a pile of unused white binders. My desk, for once, is clean.Two years after walking through front doors that I--admittedly--never thought I’d ever want to see again, and I have fewer than 48 hours until I walk back out. I have a new ID badge and a classroom I have yet to see at the Nesbitt Discovery Academy.

And so, goodbye to Madison High.

It’s not been an easy decision--made even less so due to varied reactions from others about it. My students were difficult, and it’s true that some days I did not want to be at work, but seeing each of them make some kind of progress in their lives--either academic or personal--made it worth it. It’s a unique set of students at Madison, and one that I’m sad to leave behind. And while some people think that it’s about money or it's just a career move, what they aren’t taking into account is that there will always be those who need help, and maybe sometimes you can’t confine yourself to one demographic. Maybe you need to branch out and move up so that you can help more people than you were before.

Maybe, in the words of MSG King, you need to find a way to better yourself while you also “Make it count.”

#goodbye #newjob #loss #grief #death #highschool

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Emily Fox