Wednesday, June 21, 2006

At the end....

I'm sitting here, surrounded by the accoutrements of a classroom, all haphazardly piled around me. Stacks of playing cards, cartons of crayons, files galore, a metal gecko, stamps, some Fantastic, two CD's on the latest version of the standardized tests, dry erase markers. Desks with chairs on them, empty for the first time in ten months......This is one of the hardest parts of being a teacher. This emptiness.

It's such a strange feeling to spend ten months of your life with these children that you come to love, and then, with the shrill of a bell, to say goodbye to them for the rest of their lives. Oh sure, I'll see them again in a few months, and they'll stay at this school for two more years. But I'll never see them the way I did for the last ten months.....As mine. They are on to greater things and they are no longer mine to worry about and think about, to make plans for and set goals with. They are no longer mine to laugh with, hug when they cry and give high fives to when they get 100% on a test. They are no longer mine to watch when their faces light up because they Got It. They are no longer mine to show them exciting books or teach them new things.

This is always when I wonder what they'll think of me years down the road. You know you do that, you talk about the teacher you had every now and again, less and less as you get older, but there are always a few that you mention. The ones that inspired you. Or the ones that you hated with a passion. This is when I wonder....What will they think of me down the road? How will they describe their year with me? Will they say I was kind? Or that I loved to write? Will they mention that I turned them on to that great book that they couldn't get enough of? Or will they remember me as uninteresting and uninspiring? A year wasted?

But I always come back to the same thing. If I have touched even one child's life in a positive, meaningful way; then my life will have been a success.

2 comments:

Kelli said...

I loved this post Lisa. It's funny because as a little kid you're always so excited for the summertime that you forget you're leaving your classroom that's been "home" for the past year - never to return.
I can't say for sure, but knowing you, my gut tells me that your students will recall their time with you quite fondly as they grow up...

KTP said...

Wow this made me cry. You put such a human face on a teacher, one that I never would have imagined.