I often like to reflect on all the things I didn’t learn in university that I should have. Someone should have taught a class on how to work all the school office equipment (and more importantly, what to do when the photocopier breaks down for the 734th time and your kicking of the machine is getting you dirty looks). Someone should have taught a class on what to have your teacher assistants do- because finding work for them often is the hardest part of my planning. Someone should have taught a class on time management. On the trick to writing straight on a chalkboard. On what to say when you a child tells you that he loves you more than his mom.
I have turned the front of my desk into a showcase of art work. Students who do original drawings can put their work up there for all to admire. On Friday, one of my students drew me a picture of Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker fighting. And underneath it he wrote ” I love school. Your the best. I wish you could be our teacher forever”.
Then he told me that he thought I would be a good Jedi.
I was filled with a sense of accomplishment. My kids- who I’ve been working like factory workers for Nike- are enjoying school. They are kind, thoughtful and creative. They know how to spell ‘teacher’ and ‘forever’. They are equally excited for recess as they are for math class. I’ve done what I wanted to do- what I wanted to prove to myself I could do. I’ve become a teacher who really cares about her students.
And I know it’s sappy and cliche, and this post is riddled with lines that will make me roll my eyes when I read it after I hit ‘ publish’- but it’s true. The 16 students I have make me laugh harder than Jon Stewart. They make me think deeper than Nietzsche- or a really profound Simple Plan lyric. I often find myself scribbling down the hysterical (and sometimes insane) things they say because I want to remember everything.
And I only have two months left.
Someone should have taught me how to say goodbye.