Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Ending

Every ending is a new beginning.  But it's hard to feel the new beginning without feeling an ending, closing a chapter, boxing things up, cremation.

I chose to celebrate earning my National Board Certification by burning all my work.

This might seem like a negative way to end things, but it didn't feel that way.

Ever since I finished my portfolio and sent it in March 31 this year, I've had one of those little teachery rolly-cart things sitting around in my dining room.  It was filled with binders, folders from retreats, hotel writing pads, file-folders of student work.  I kept thinking, "I should really go through that stuff."  I'm sure my husband kept thinking, "I should really go dump that thing in the alleyway."  But I had forbid him from touching it.  Everytime I considered sorting through it, it seemed like a waste of time.  I knew that if anything came up during scoring, I had everything from my process either in the rolly cart or saved digitally on my hard drive AND Google Drive... AND the server at school... AND a flash drive.

[It would be a lot easier to blog if this dachshund would get off of my face.]

So anyway, I didn't touch it.  Then, when we moved houses, I moved it into our new dining room.  Much smaller house, though, and it's been in the way.

Saturday, we had my brother's family and a good friend over to grill out.  The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in Southern Arizona, and the evening was cool enough for a fire in our little fire pit.  After a couple of beers and marshmallows, Rich was joking about whether we had anything else from inside the house that we could burn.  I brought out my rolly cart, and slowly emptied it into the flames.

The fire burned hot, and the paper created gorgeous layered canyons of bright coals. I burned it all:  my drafts, my instructions, my rubrics, my worksheets, copies of student writing, reflections, doodles, and handouts. Handful by folderful. It was a long task, and a lovely sight. What a relief, letting go of the anxiousness about what was in those folders and worry whether I had made the right choices. The contents of the rolly cart were no longer part of my present, but part of my past.  My new initials are part of the present:  NBCT. And what will I do with my new initials?

Now comes the beginning. The beginning of what? I am not certain. I never am. I keep my eyes open for opportunity, and enjoy the adventure (except when I am agonizing over it.)


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm sure it would have been a lot harder to let go if I hadn't achieved. I am so grateful that I do not have to deal with that possibility anymore!


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