Post date: May 23, 2018 5:28:40 PM

As I have already announced across my social media platforms, I am officially going to be moving to Orange County this summer and will begin working at Odyssey STEM Academy (Paramount Unified School District) in the Fall. In this time of transition, I have yet to take a moment to simply write and reflect on all of the upcoming changes in my life.

I want to establish first and foremost that the past three months have been... not fun. My family and I are excited in that we bought a house in Orange County, which is where my wife and son have been living for that span of time. I only get to see them on the weekends, while I stay at my dad's place here in San Diego while I finish out the school year on week days. We knew going into things that this would be difficult, but the timing of other life events didn't leave us with too many options. Tack on the usual grind of end-of-the-year activities (read: copious amounts of grading) and things have slowly and steadily been bogging me down more than usual.

Though, there is a light. As I write, there are a little more than two weeks remaining, and it's the promise of reunification that keeps me going. But I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that this stretch of my educational career has emotionally been the most difficult.

Aside from my personal stresses, I have had my fair share of emotional encounters here at school. I grappled with whether or not to tell my scholars about my placement next year. I feel as though everyone has their own impressions of what to share and what not to share with kids. I know, for example, some other teachers that will not be at this school next year, and are not planning on telling their scholars at all. Yet, I felt like I owed it to them. So many juniors had already expressed excitement over the prospect of being in my class next year, and I feel like not saying anything would be a mild form of betrayal.

For their part, the kids took it pretty well. Most were upset in the polite way: "No, Simmons we'll miss you!" Several others were more upset: "You were the only reason I was looking forward to senior year." Others? Well, to say they were "ambivalent" would be an understatement. Either way, I'm glad I did. By year's end, I think we will all get closure and I'll be able to depart my first educational family in the most mutual way. (Of course, I am going to be an absolute wreck.)

Looking to the future, I am certainly going to have a busy summer. I am joining a school opening its doors for the first time in the Fall, and with that comes a tremendous amount of preparation. I will be headed out of town to two separate conferences, as well as a plethora of PD days at the new school with new coworkers.

I think the work that we do this summer will be crucial. The toughest part about leaving my current placement is the camaraderie I will be leaving behind with my "OG Staff." This is the group that worked to open the school, and we share a relationship with each other that carries the culture of everything we do at this school. I hope to foster the same sort of relationships with our opening team at Odyssey.

Overall, I am optimistic, as I always am. Time will tell what my new school and family will look like together, but if you approach life positively, I believe it will be reciprocated.