Twilight

My classroom is empty right now, when it should be bubbling.  It is mid-afternoon, mid-week, mid-March and my classroom is empty.  I didn’t even bother to turn on my lamps or my white string lights or even crack my window to allow for fresh air.  My classroom is empty and I see the ghosts of students sitting in every seat, even occupying the couches and soft chairs that have been relegated to the storage pods in our back field for this past year.  My classroom is empty and I am filling it with memories. 

I have had well over a thousand adolescents pass through my classroom.  Some have settled into a corner, emerging just a bit over the months spent in here, while others have transformed so drastically that they are barely recognizable to their September selves.  I have borne witness to life changing epiphanies and waited patiently for presumed crises to settle into manageable problems.  I have lost students to many things, not the least of which is the allure of shinier classes and activities that don’t require so much soul baring.  I have celebrated life moments with a few students long after they have moved on from middle school and I have endured long, quizzical looks from young adults who know they know me from somewhere, but just can’t quite put their finger on it.  I have gone to funerals.  

I don’t know what the next few years will bring…what it will all look like after we have put covid and hybrid learning and zoom instruction behind us.  I do know that there is a chance that I will be a part of a bigger reorganization in our district and I may find myself without a classroom.  I want to embrace the potential of moving into something new for the second act of my performance, but I worry.  I am, for the first time, feeling the inevitability of being forgotten.

5 thoughts on “Twilight

  1. Wow! You conveyed so much emotion. I’m an elementary teacher but the mom of a middle schooler. What middle school teachers do is amazing. My son’s 7th grade year just hasn’t been the same and I think you helped me put my finger on it. It’s the change that they go through physically, emotionally, and mentally and a great set of teachers by their side coaching them and helping them shift. I just don’t feel like his teachers this year know him that well so they can’t see him growing and changing– and it’s not because they aren’t working their tails off… they are doing everything right, but it’s not the same. I hope he can have a more normal 8th grade year because I worry about kids going to high school without those “middle” years. Best of luck to you as you think about the future… just another worry to add to a teacher’s plate this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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