My school of the last five years is involved in a meiosis of sorts, splitting and dividing into two halves, each pulling some of its identity from the whole. Good schools become families, adults coming together with the shared goal of nurturing and launching children. The restructuring of a school is the break up of a family, with all of the associated heartache and opportunity. And it’s often a break up that nobody wants.
Last night, we celebrated the final day of the existence of the staff as a single entity before the last strands are cut today as we move into our new schools and our new roles.
And it was a wonderful celebration. Equal parts belly laughs and tears. Differences set aside in lieu of gratitude for shared experiences and the unique gifts that each person shared during their tenure.
Yes, it was sad. We traded stories about some of our most challenging – and rewarding – students, realizing as we shared that we may never again be in the company of others who participated in that same memory. We grew a little apprehensive, wondering how in the world we would ever build this kind of connection and camaraderie in our new schools. The task feels daunting, especially when compared to the already-built relationships. We poked fun at each other’s warts without causing distress because we all know it comes from a place of love and acceptence. And we wondered if our new family would be accepting as well.
It was sad. It is sad.
But it’s not only sad.
Last night was a rememberence and celebration of all that had been and the early excitement of what is to come. A perfect blend of memory and anticipation. An acknowledge of the end tempered with gratitude that it existed.
As I listened to two talented teachers lead a inside-joke filled presentation, I thought how wonderful it would be if we could always approach life’s endings in this way.
With equal parts belly laughs and tears.
If there has to be an ending, why not make it a good one?