After dropping off my boys this morning, I figured that it would be a good idea to stop by my classroom at the Software Guild to get some stuff to work on at home.  It’s my classroom after all, my home away from home.  Now that I can work from home the next few weeks, I should be fine going in there to get what I need.  After all, if it feels like home, I should be comfortable in there.

My classroom at The Software Guild

But as soon as I stepped into my classroom, tears welled up in my eyes. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the surge of emotions that hit me.  It’s overwhelming, and I felt extremely vulnerable, which is probably why I went it alone.  It’s times like those where I both need my support network and shy away from them to try to deal with my feelings on my own.

Missing Routine

As I stepped in the classroom and looked around, I realized that I missed them and the routines we had.  I miss the daily standup, learning what they’re working on and how to better serve them.  I miss the conversations we’d have as the day was getting started – whether they were the warmup exercises or just general chatter before our lectures conversations.  I miss the morning conversations about the various topics in programming – from variables/loops to inheritance to dependency injection.  I miss watching my apprentices work on their labs and even on their side projects – to see how they applied the concepts from the classroom to their own interests.  Most of all, though, I miss the people – they were such a talented and diverse bunch.

Moving On

While a part of me is missing the routines of the classroom, a part of me is excited.  The missing apprentices are no longer just apprentices – they are alumni.  They survived the 12-week coding bootcamp and are off to do great things.  Some of mine are returning to classrooms of their own, working on their degrees.  Some are out looking for places to live, as they are moving on to new jobs, away from their homes.  Some already have places and are eagerly awaiting their start dates for their new jobs, the new life ahead.  Knowing this, I’m excited to see them grow in their careers and look forward to their adventures.

Conclusion

This morning’s return to the classroom was definitely unexpected for me – I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed like this.  From curiosity to sarcasm, ambitions to frustrations to break-through moments… I miss it all.  At the same time, I’m excited to know that I have given them the skills to do great things in the world.   This was my first group as an instructor, so they will forever hold a special place in my life.

Have no fear – my next group starts in mid-September!  To new adventures…