The Year That School Started Without Me

The Year That School Started Without Me

For the first time in my life, I was neither a student or a teacher today. In 20+ years, I have been a part of the education system in one way or another. To say that today has been emotional for me is an understatement.

I have, and always will be, a student of life though. Life teaches me something every single day. Even when I was teaching, I learned more about life and relationships from my students than I ever did from a college education.

Today I am missing seeing 160 slightly eager faces walking into a freshly decorated classroom, where I would semi-nervously introduce myself and lay down the laws for the year. I’m missing teaching five periods in a row with only a short lunch break. I’m missing grading papers, tests, and quizzes practically every moment of my life — during lunch, dinner, while in bed, watching TV, and even while on “vacation”.

I’m missing volleyball practice for hours after school, which means getting home late. I’m missing driving the team bus and celebrating each time we made it safely to our destination…because lord knows this 5-foot girl could hardly reach the pedals.

I’m missing the early mornings when students come into my classroom just to talk because they know that I will listen to everything they have to say. I’m missing the relationships I built with my students, not only as their teacher but as their role model and biggest supporter.

I’m missing these things because this is all I’ve ever known.

What I won’t miss is the parent emails, the unnecessary meetings, or the fact that our lives revolved around standardized testing and begging for more copies and supplies.

But, I’m learning that missing something means you were fortunate to have it in the first place. Now is my time to shine with a fresh start, in an entirely new place, with the love of my life. There’s something freeing about that, right?


Teaching and learning may be all I’ve ever known, but that’s not all that I’m capable of. My other half teaches me something new about myself every day — how strong I am…how far I’ve come…how successful I’ve been. Would you believe that I secured a full-time job fresh out of college, after graduating early with two degrees, bought a house, two cars, sold a house, and got married all before the age of 25?

While I may be in transition right now (according to him I’m a vagabond/nomad), the only place I’m going from here is up! The possibilities are endless for the next chapter in my book. Who knows what will happen or what I will accomplish when I get to Italy. I no longer worry because I have faith and my best friend on my side.


Summer Rae

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