I gotta admit, no matter how many years I teach, no matter what the topic or the age of the students I work with…
I am more than a little broken-hearted when we are all done.
Today was my last class. In a little more than a week I will watch many of my learning colleagues from this year graduate from college.
Some have already begun the move away, off to Portland, off to New Mexico, off to other programs, other jobs, other lives.
I learned so much from and with them all.
And tonight I got me the teacher getting left behind blues.
It doesn’t feel much different from when my 8th graders did a bridging ceremony and headed off to high school. Back in those days I wanted to keep them all for another year of middle school and I knew the next class could never compare to their awkward awesomeness and foolish brilliance.
Now the students are adults and the life paths they are taking will send them off on so many journeys I will never know and I am mourning that goodbye. Mourning the knowledge that this thing we created together, this community of learning and excitement and engagement, this little living space is over. Our time together is done.
I guess that’s just what it is to be called to teach. You gotta love it with a fury and then you gotta let it all go to the winds in the end.
And what I now know after some 20 years of teaching is that the it of teaching is more than a passion for the content, the space for learning, and the eager or at least present students engaging…
The it you gotta love on some pretty real level in teaching is the them. Every time.
So here’s to another school year ending and another bittersweet goodbye.
Nobody tells you about that when you are in teacher training…