I have gone back to visit some of my old colleagues and students a few times since making the switch. Each time, it was a very out-of-body experience. Walking through my old hallways, past my old classroom was so surreal. It even made me feel a little sick to my stomach and guilty for leaving my old students behind. In many ways, it still felt more like "my school" than my current school, since it was the only school I knew for so very long.
About a month ago I had a very real reminder of one of the reasons why I left, besides for my desire to go back to elementary school. It was a tremendously heart-wrenching experience. I realized after that moment even more how thankful I am to be working in the building I am now, and working with such incredible teachers and kids every day.
Then, about a week ago, I had to head back to my old school to drop off some thank you letters from my students for an old student who volunteered to come to my class and speak. When I dropped the letters off and headed back to my car, I was shocked to realize that this was the first time that my old school didn't feel like "home" anymore. It was strangely unfamiliar to me all of a sudden. I was sad, yet relieved. I couldn't wait to head to my new school home, the home I belonged to now.
When I walked through my doors, greeted by my wonderful morning custodian as I am every morning at 7:00 AM, I found myself grinning a little bigger than usual. Sure, it was hard to leave everything I once knew. It was hard to leave the only school home I knew behind. But, in the end, I have a new home now. I have new adventures and endeavors (see what I did there?) to conquer. My old school and kids will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always, always, always be there for my former kids, since they will always be my students. But I now realize that it's okay to leave my old school behind. My new school is my home now, and boy, is it pretty spectacular. :)