So, friends and fellow teachers, I come to you again for some counsel.
We have recently found out that my husband received a job offer! Hooray! He has been searching since April, and it's a position he's excited about, so this is all been quite a thrilling time for him.
However, it is in a different state. And they want him to start December 1. We cannot afford to live in 2 places at once, so I'm finishing the semester here and then leaving to join him in New State. It absolutely breaks my heart to leave my kids mid-year. I find it ironic that, out of all the years I make it a goal to be more personable with my students (and thus more attached), I have to leave them mid-year. I. hate. it. Trust me, I've shed a few tears over this, and had to choke them back again as I told my principal this afternoon that I'd be leaving at the end of the semester.
I hate that someone else will be there to administer the state test to them in May. I hate that s/he won't know what we've already covered (actually, I plan on leaving a little letter just saying "This is what we've covered and what I had intended to get to in the 2nd semester." Not sure if that's overstepping boundaries, but I thought it might be helpful for someone coming in mid-year. At least s/he's not stepping into a total void, ya know?)
There's also the wonderful people I've met at school - other fabulous teachers who have become friends, not just colleagues. I'm afraid of going to a new school in an area I don't know and creating a new curriculum...but mostly, I keep going back to the kids. I want to see them finish out the year. I want to see how they grow between now and May. I want to know what they get on their state tests - in the switch-over, with anything get forgotten or left behind? Will they be prepared? (Will another teacher perceive them to be well-prepared?) (and perhaps just as selfishly: will they love this new teacher and forget all about me?) I knew when this time came that it would be difficult to leave. Three years in a school makes you put down roots. I especially hate that it's in the middle of the year; there's a natural closure to the end of school in May. Everyone's expecting it. This...well, it just sucks. But that's life.
So... how do I break the news to them? And when? I of course don't want to wait too long. But I'm not sure what will happen if I tell them "too early" when we still have 4 weeks left to go. I'm not sure how or when to have that conversation. I can't imagine telling them and then saying, "OK, well let's get out your notebooks and..." At the moment, I'm considering telling them just before Thanksgiving break; I'm thinking that will give them time to digest, recoup, and come back ready to work. But maybe that's chicken of me? Any thoughts?