As I come to the end of my time here in Prague, and the end of this chapter of my life, it brings me to a place of reflection and thankfulness for all I have experienced here. I have learned a lot about myself, what I value and believe in, and what direction I should be heading in.
In my final days at the school, however, I saw myself through other people’s eyes. I saw how the children I taught viewed me, and their feelings about my leaving, through the cards and letters they wrote for me. I saw myself through the eyes of the parents of the children I had taught in the beautiful thank you notes I received, the bunches of flowers, and the tearful hugs goodbye. I saw myself through the eyes of my colleagues and friends in the school, in my leaving gift, in the kind words said at our farewell meeting, in the messages written in my goodbye card, and in the words of my boss telling me I would always have a job there for me if I wanted to return.
I saw value and results in all I had invested of myself in the time I had been here. The lost weekends of marking, the hours of lesson planning, the continual bouncing around of ideas to help make things up-to-date and interesting at all times for the kids, the weekly supermarket trips not only for my own groceries, but also for random bits and pieces to enhance the classroom, the emails and meetings with parents at any time there were concerns, the late night stressing over that one child who was worrying you that night, the delicate balance of the classroom with all it’s personalities, attending the saddest of events because it affected a child in your class, the conversations over dinner with colleagues about things that were happening as you needed to talk over issues and get another opinion, the long hours of rehearsals and preparation for the many school shows, the realisation that this has been a huge part of my world for four years.
As much as I am ready for whatever the next step holds for me, it is only because of the past four years that I feel that confidence. I invested myself in this work and this opportunity, and having seen myself through the eyes of the people I have met, it was the right thing to do entirely.