in absentia

I used to write a lot. It wrote about day-to-day. I wrote about wins and losses, living, learning, and people. I haven't written that way in a long time. I want to change that.


I wrote, what seems like ages ago, about a shift in my career. I left the classroom. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, and now, six months later, I'm still glad I took the risk. Honestly, until last March, I hadn't ever considered what it would be like to not be a teacher. I went into college having my major declared. I stuck with the program, even though I wanted to quit in my third year. And I can't even begin to explain how glad I am to have stayed with it for (nearly) four years after graduating.

I do have to admit that I'm still struggling with being part of the 50%. I had my reasons, as I'm sure everyone else does. But, it's still hard to answer the question, or respond to the looks when I tell people I left teaching. Interesting side note: this fall was the first time in 25 years or so (including my own schooling) in which I didn't experience a first day of school. It is definitely strange.

But, even in absentia, I can still experience students.

I bought a house nearly a year ago. We had overlooked it mainly because it looked pretty ugly on the inside. Not gonna lie. The yard is awesome though. We've got a full acre of land, with half of it fenced in the back. (I feel completely comfortable saying that a dog is in our future sometime.)

We moved in planning on doing some remodeling at some point. Mostly, because of the kitchen.

And then, we got another incredible piece of news.

My life had been inexplicably changed with the sound of my daughter's heart beating strong and resolute. We had some serious work to do. What ensued was a display of love, support, and encouragement from family and friends as my wife and I worked hard to make sure our home would be ready for little _____________ (sorry!) when she arrives any time now. It started with the kitchen and quickly spilled out into our dining room. (There are far too many pictures to post here, so feel free to browse through the project on Flickr.)

I haven't been around for a while. I'm not writing in an effort to explain my absence or even to get more likes, props, kudos, or back-slaps for the blessings I've been given this year. I'm writing because of the support I've felt, along with friends and family physically here, from you. The notes on Twitter, the blog comments, and the emails...they did not fall on deaf ears.

The year has been wonderful, and I'm excited about the new things on my horizon, even though they're not in a physical classroom any more. I'm reminded every day that learning can, and should, happen without walls, and I'm thankful for the friends surrounding me, helping me continue to learn.

4 thoughts on “in absentia

  1. Becky Berardino says:

    What a beautiful piece. Just know you have touched people beyond what you are aware of. I first stumbled on your google chat last year around this time. Despite the ridiculous amount of change that was impending, I flipped 2 of my 3 math classrooms. I will never go back. I am far from mastery learning, which is my ultimate goal. But you, and your “den of thieves,” inspired and continue to inspire me to chug along. One of my favorite tweets ever is yours related to tombstones and testing! Thanks for sharing your experiences. Congratulations and Godspeed!

  2. wmchamberlain says:

    So what if you aren’t writing on your blog much. It isn’t as though you dropped off the face of the earth (as my Twitter feed clearly shows ;) I don’t really understand the drive to publish every day…*cough cough John Spencer*… but I know that those that do ‘have to’. Fortunately I don’t have that particular disorder so I post infrequently at best. Don’t feel back, there are more of us than them ;)

  3. […] We’ve been blessed with support from our families and we wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as much as we have in the time we were […]

  4. […] written more on this before (which is partially true. I mention the remodel, along with some photos in an old post.) Time for a mega update – with […]

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