Moving on

Posted May 28, 2011

by Lensyl Urbano

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

–Tennyson (1842): Break, Break, Break via the Poetry Foundation.

I feel as if I’ve been posting more poetry than normal. I know I’ve been reading a lot more. It’s a habit I fall back into at major transitions. I’m leaving Lamplighter Montessori in Memphis and instead of doing everything in the Middle School, I will be taking a more Math and Science oriented position at the Fulton School at St. Albans near St. Louis. I’ve really enjoyed being the Middle School teacher at Lamplighter, so it is hard to leave, but the hardest part of moving on is that, in my multi-age, single-teacher classroom, there are seventh graders who I won’t be able to take through the full cycle.

It’s particularly hard because I’m leaving behind an exceptional group of students that any teacher would love to have in their classroom. They’re kids who love to learn, are serious about their work, and are well-balanced, “normalized” Montessori students; the epitome of constructivist education. For this reason, I know they’ll do well, which is some consolation (I also have a lot of confidence in their new teacher), but I will miss not being able to work with them.

Saying goodbye to the graduating students was also more difficult than I expected. There’s always some sadness in seeing them move on, but it is part of the normal progression of things, so it is a sweet sorrow. Now, however, my moving to another city introduces another element to a naturally traumatic change, especially for the kid who have had a harder time making the transition. Part of the safe anchor back to middle school, which some students need during that first year of high school, has become untethered.

At least, with the blog and email it is harder to loose all contact, but electronic communications cannot always satisfy the need to know that there is something, somewhere, safe behind you, somewhere that will provide a little unconditional positive regard we all need sometimes. Admittedly, this is often an illusion, institutions evolve, but I think it is a useful fiction we all need sometimes.

There is a lot to commend my new position, which I will undoubtedly be writing a lot about over the summer as I prepare classes, but after talking to my students individually today, I feel like I need to take a moment to reflect on what has been a few, wonderful years. Hence my need to resort to poetry.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2011. Moving on, Retrieved November 21st, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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