Posted on August 8, 2011 - Filed Under self reflect, teaching, thoughts
Today I wrapped up my Orlando working life – driving as usual from one thing to the next – in an effort to make room for a very new working life in Largo-Palm Harbor-Spring Hill. It was sort of an uneventful, unemotional, almost disappointing working day (with smatterings of “wrapping up” everything ELSE and I must say that the Artist Way part of my day NEVER disappoints; goodbye to that too). No good-byes from the college other than a few people who knew me personally enough to recognize me. I had to find a few myself to say farewell. No one really hugged me (other than Daphnie – gracious woman that she is, and a few fabulous students). I wrote my own farewell letter to the school, appropriately noting what little recognition adjuncts get for the impact they have on the students and school daily, and thanking the school for exposing me to a population of students that has met my need for mattering in the world. A few instructors popped in to thank me for the note, a few students hugged me with full pouty lips, and then I drove away – I drove away wondering how it is that I could invest so much of myself, be a highly requested instructor, and yet never get a thank you from the college after almost nine years. Yep, I guess it did hurt a bit. What I know is that I HAVE had an impact, and I did matter in my classroom, for a good run, and ultimately the students, the ones who really matter in the game of education, are the ones who get to carry that experience with them, as I have with regard to all of them.
So, to note the day in my life, my Goodbye Letter (minus the school’s name):
“Hi —- family – I just wanted to take a few moments to share a goodbye with a college community I have been working with for the majority of my time in Florida. I have taken a position as a Program Director on the west coast of Florida at a small career college. The last few weeks have been filled with moving and transitioning, changes and goodbyes. However, it felt sad not to say goodbye to —-.
It has been a pleasure to be an adjunct instructor for —-’s students for over eight and a half years. As an adjunct, the recognition is not the same as it is with full time staff whose faces are regularly in the halls, however the students and a core of Department Chairs and staff have reminded me of my significance to the learning culture at —-; and in turn given me a “place” within the lives of many many students. I have been deeply impacted by the students here, and will miss being part of their learning process and experience. I wish I could extend this good bye to them as well – as I have grown as an educator through my experiences with them, and I know I have had a tremendous impact on their own growth.
Thank you for the experience, the chance to be involved in adult education, and the confidence that has kept me moving year after year. I am excited about the new challenges and new population of students, and want also to acknowledge how —- has helped me move forward.
—- Adjunct Instructor