My students were pretty hyper on Friday. I don't blame them. The room was torn apart and everything was out of its normal state. Students with autism do not like change and Friday was pretty crazy! Since they were only there until 11, my plan was breakfast, a long walk outside, time at the park, a quick video with popcorn and packing up to go home. Things were a bit more hectic than I expected and the kids could not all pull it together long enough for things to run smoothly. Not only that but my aide brought in cupcakes for the kids to decorate for my birthday (a tradition we started 2 years back for everyone's birthday). Besides it taking 15 minutes to find knives and the sprinkles the kids always get, things went pretty well. No one really wanted to get on the bus.... the kids did not know which end was up by the end of the morning.
I kept busy and tried to just keep the packing and organizing moving along once they left. All 3 aides helped get things done and we efficiently got everything squared away in a little over an hour. We did hugs and small gifts and promised each other we'd keep in touch. After they all left I took a minute and surveyed the room. The room looked huge. Huge and quiet. Two things I never considered the room to be when it was my classroom.
Heading over to my new building with all my desk stuff and things that I was relocating to my new space I was in a reflective but happy mood. The long wait to get to the end of the school year had finally arrived.... now time was moving much faster. Reality of the changes next year would bring were starting to hit me. I was still wheeling materials into the building when the principal stopped me and asked me to come into her office. I joked with the secretary that I couldn't be in trouble already I had just gotten there. I panicked slightly when I realized she wanted a 'closed door' meeting which made me think that maybe I should not have made the crack to the secretary! But I did restrain myself from making a joke about minding if I was chronically late next year when she asked if I had any questions. I don't ALWAYS suffer from Foot in Mouth disease!!!
Stepping into my new office I was stunned by the size of it. Compared to the size of the empty room I had just left, this felt like a bathroom stall. The desk was all wrong and squeaked, my stuff did not fit where they had been before. There were no windows to the outside. The chairs were not the right size or color.... I felt like my students must have felt when they walked into their dishelved room that morning. I just wanted to hide under the desk. I suddenly had a thought that I might not remember how to do speech therapy anymore. It had been three years.... the paperwork alone is mind boggling... and the scheduling and the groups.... all in this little room with me. What was I thinking?
I have three months to get my head around the idea of this new space being mine. Pepper reminded me that I love all the things that are scaring me. She promises that it will all come flooding back when I need it to. She also reminded me that she will be there as my biggest support and my number 1 fan. I am going to have a great summer with my friends and family and I will be ready when I need to be. Here's hopin'!!! :)