Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Closing Time

Closing Time,
Every new beginning comes from 
some other beginning's end...

And the boxing up/cleaning out/throwing away has begun.  Farewell dear giant popcorn display, you served me well!

It is the end of the school year.
We are in the very.last.month.of.school.
I've been through many YOEs, as this is my 23rd year to be an educator. 

For the past few years I've had it easy.  
Not this year.
Sure, I'll have inventory, writing reports, hounding the kids for missing books, assisting teachers in the Blitz (what we call the small window of time to prep the kids who did not pass the STAAR on the first go-round to pass it on the second) by teaching 2 sections of 8th grade Advanced ELA classes (novel study: Red Badge of Courage); basically, all the usual stuff.  

What makes this year different is that I am leaving.  In the words of Semisonic, I am gathering up my jackets, and moving it to the exits.

I'm leaving my middle school campus.  Oh, what adventures I've had there!  For 12 years Mike Moses Middle School has been my second home.  "A middle school librarian" is how I've defined myself.  I've met so many folks, had so many experiences, had some truly wonderful administrators and grown tremendously as a professional, and as a person in general.  I was blessed to have folks believe in me, and allow me to do some really awesome things like One Book, One School, Read-it-Forward, and author visits (over the years we've had Neal Shusterman, Roland Smith, Greg Neri, Jill Alexander, for example).  It is because I was at middle school that I have had the opportunity to be on the Lone Star committee and the Spirit of Texas MS committee.  

I loved the trips taking students to NYC with my dear friend and colleague Teresa Ragland, a force of nature; a whirling dervish of talent and the single best theatre teacher I've ever had the pleasure to know.  She left our campus a few years back, and while I've loved all who have come after her, Teresa has a sparkle that very few on this earth can claim.

long story. NYC joke from the time we got STUCK there for 4 extra days due to a freak snowstorm.  Good times.  

Most of my friends are folks I work with.  We've seen each other through tears of joy, and tears of sadness. We've baked for one another, sent kind notes to one another--and OH, have we ever laughed together! Both my children were born while I have worked at this campus. These are my people.  I will miss them. 

My students are in shock.  I'm happy to say the 8th graders seem thrilled.  It tickled me today when my library assistants were quietly arguing among themselves as to which one of them inspired me to move on up to HS with them.  My 7th and 6th graders are not.so.happy.  I've been there so long, and taught so many of their older siblings---well, I think they pretty much thought I was a given, you know?

My Girl Scout troop has met at my campus for the past 4 years.  All the glitter, chocolate fountains, GS cookies, and rounds of Make New Friends that have taken place in my library!  My library.   

Mine for only about a month longer.  And then I will truly turn in my keys for the first time ever (I am always going up over the summer working on something or other or gathering books to read) and I will be on my way up the road.  

And my life will be filled with new adventures and new friends (hey--I AM a Girl Scout, so I will definitely make new friends, but keep the old---one is silver and the other gold!) and new opportunities for fabulous growing experiences that will happen because I am at a high school.  

And I will laugh and sing and sprinkle glitter and the love of books where ever I am, because that's just how I roll, folks.  


  1. And the beginning of some wonderful new adventures! It's going to be amazing, Sonja!

  2. Congratulations Sonja! You're going to do a great job.