November 8th felt like it would never, ever come, and now I wish it was October again (for the sake of my local races as much as the presidential campaign).
But time keeps marching on. My unemployment account shows so many weekly certifications that I have to scroll down to see them all. November 8th unfortunately happened.
And suddenly it’s Thanksgiving and the radio station has switched to holiday music 24/7 and the decorations that were up too early are now appropriate…
and it’s been almost a semester since I taught a class of kids.
No back to school rituals. No teaching calendar routines or triple-checking how everyone goes home. No learning about the seasons or apples or pumpkins. I didn’t read Skeleton Hiccups this year and then listen to kids chant “Hic, hic, hic” all day (week) long. I didn’t teach about Pilgrims and the Mayflower and Squanto and how they planted corn with dead fish.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on tv tonight. I watched a few minutes of it and was reminded how my kids always loved the parts with the dog-turned-reindeer. (I’ve always loved it too.)
My DVD will stay on the shelf this year. I don’t need to bring it and my laptop to school to show it to my class.
A more cynical someone might sneer at these musings. With everything that’s going on in the world–and no, I haven’t forgotten about that Secretary of Education nominee–this is what I’m focusing on?
Well…yes. For now, anyway. In the midst of job hunting and the difficulties I continue to face with that, the part that often gets forgotten about is the time with the kids. Not the data meetings, the assessments, the push to raise test scores at the expense of everything else–I still hear about those all the time from my teacher friends. I don’t miss those a bit.
But watching my kids’ faces light up on field trips…seeing them perform their music program they’ve practiced for so long…reading a book and having them read along with me…I miss that.
Having old (former) kids coming back to visit…developing a community where you can say “remember the time when ___?” and they know the story you’re about to tell…getting to know these short, funny, never-boring people…I miss that.
I miss my kids.
There are a lot of us who have been bullied, a lot of us who left the teaching profession altogether because of it. In the coming days, I’m going to be announcing a project I’m developing to amplify the voices of the teachers who are no longer in the classroom. Please subscribe below so you will be the first to hear about it, and if you know someone who is no longer teaching, please forward this to them. Thank you!