We notified the school way right away that he had passed away. Because he was out for surgery and then we were going on Christmas break, they already had a sub in his room to use his lesson plans.
I did have to talk to them about numerous things like getting paid for sick leave and compensation time he had earned for covering for other teachers. Because we get paid over the entire year, I had to also request a salary adjustment because he had not been paid for the amount of time he had put in this year. Other things I had to talk about where the extra duties he did such as Lego and recess duty.
One of the teachers contacted me and asked for his login information for the system they used at school. He had made a video for each of the lessons for the school year demonstrating how to do the math problems. A few of the teachers were still going to use these when they helped students. I hope I still can access these so I can hear his voice.
After the funeral and Christmas were over, his sister and I went up to the room to clean out his personal belongings. It was another really hard thing to do. I felt I needed to leave certain things in the room so that when the kids returned in January it wouldn't be completely empty and blank. And then there were many things that we had personally provided in the room that I felt I needed to take. I took things like pictures of our boys and drawings they had done for him. I left posters that I knew some of the students have made. and some of the other posters that I knew we did not have a use for.
It will be really weird in August to not go and set up his classroom. This is something I have done every year since he started teaching. One year I even went and did it by myself.
Throughout the few months of school we received home and cards from the students. I heard from parents that their students really had a hard time going to school without him there. The middle school he taught in dedicated their month of March to him and we received any donations that the students had raised. He always wanted to teach 6th grade math. I'm so glad you got to do his dream job and know that he made such a difference in the lives of the students.
At the very end of the year the teacher in the classroom had collected things that belong to Steve and those were returned to me. I attended the end of the year party with the staff. It was bittersweet to drive there by myself. I know almost everyone there but there were still moments of tears mixed in with lots of moments of laughter.
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