I usually have the last day of school well mapped out. I have a fun activity planned, bring in some candy, play some music, dance around in the classroom and celebrate all we’ve accomplished (or not) during the school year. I have them fill out a questionnaire about their favorite parts of the class, the book they liked to read the most, what they wished they would have learned and what their plans are for the summer. For my kids, they’re just getting their license, girl/boyfriends, jobs and their own sense of self. But this time, it’s a bit different. The weather’s not hazy and warm. They’re not flashing too much skin, wearing too much cologne and blasting bad pop songs from their ipods. But I’m leaving, anyway. And they are staying for another few months. Without me.
This last week of work before maternity leave has been strange, to say the least. Am I excited that this signifies the last leg of this pregnancy journey? Absolutely. Am I sad to see the swollen feet, the PUPPPS, the heartburn be replaced by sleepless nights, late night feedings and exploding diapers? Not in the least. But I have to tell you, I’m having a small issue reconciling that I am leaving my job as Mrs. Shannon behind to be called a new and different name. I have been a teacher for approximately five years. At times, I’ve loved it. At times, I’ve hated it. But I became one in my career, in my speech, in the core of my identity. I became a teacher. Now, I will be something different that I’ve never been before.
What I am hoping to maintain as I grow into this new role is the deeper sense of where my identity comes from- Christ, and Him alone. Being a teacher’s not who I am, just what I do. Or did. It doesn’t make me more valuable, more credible, more important or define me. I hope that Ellie will watch her Mama’s confidence in who she is and in whom she gets her identity from so that she can do the same.