They’re Gone…

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…

7 thoughts on “They’re Gone…

  1. Dave Balzer says:

    It is a difficult thing letting go of a group. Twelve weeks seems like such a short time, but it is enough time to become fully invested in their lives. I have had the same feelings and they are difficult emotions to tame.

    • Dimitre says:

      Just came across this on LinkedIn, Dave. Reminds me of the last couple of days and the variety of emotions and commitments that had to be made to go through this process. Doing the work was the easier part. Mustering enough faith in order to commit to change the course of what you are doing was / is the hard part. In any event, it was great to see that the emotion goes both ways.

      All the best to you guys!

      D.

  2. Victor J. Pudelski says:

    Tomorrow is when I return to my room. I know the empty room and the fact that they won’t all be in tomorrow will be strange as well. This time the cohort just seemed to fly by and I will definitely miss all the new alumni. Thankfully some are coming for a visit tomorrow and hopefully some come for game night too. Werewolf, anyone?

    • sarah says:

      I’ll be in for at least part of the day tomorrow – as I have a mentoring session on Wednesdays at the tail end of lunch that I plan on keeping over these next few weeks. If there’s enough people, I could probably get talked into Werewolf. 🙂

  3. Thaddeus Ducker says:

    I just wan’t to say thank you! Not just to you Sarah but to David, Victor, and everyone at the Software Guild. It was definitely a big change when i graduated and wasn’t coming in and working with everyone anymore because during that time we all spend so much time together it becomes almost like a family. That’s why its always awesome when I get to come in and see everyone again because its just one big reunion. I hope everyone is doing well and I hope that I will be able to make it out for the next event you guys have there at the Guild.

  4. Paul Bargerstock says:

    So strange that it was around this time last year that I had only just started my time at the guild. Doesn’t seem like that much time has passed, but the calendar doesn’t lie.

    I know the feeling — that was the hardest part about leaving my teaching career behind. Just rest assured that we’re not moving on — just moving forward. You gave that cohort the opportunity to do that, and that’s a real accomplishment.

    • Dimitre says:

      Well said – there was genuine care on their part and that makes all the difference for someone who has made “the leap” into this new unknown. Ps. As much as we were all looking forward to completion and moving ahead, there is a slight nostalgia thinking about our time there. I couldn’t have asked for better mates either. Enjoy!

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