….the kind of September….
When I was a teacher. Try to remember the late August days that used to bring me anxiety, excitement, joy, a sense of purpose, lost sleep and far too many credit card charges at Michael’s Crafts.
I do remember.
I remember what it felt like to watch those precious days of summer begin to fade. I remember the excitement of facing a new school year.
I remember seeing my class list, and recognizing some of the names. I remember knowing some of the siblings of “my” kids. Knowing some of their parents. Recognizing the faces and thinking, “how can she be in fifth grade already?”
I miss those days. I miss them.
I miss the little heart flutters that used to come with printing out the tags to go in each hallway cubby. I miss the pleasure of opening up new boxes of clean, pure notebooks. I miss throwing out the old broken crayons and replacing them with new, whole, optimistic replacements.
I miss the new books. The clean desks and shiny new pens.
I miss it.
I miss the long walks that I used to take in the week before school started, memorizing my list of students in alphabetical order. Walking, and reciting, and walking some more. “Adams, Bates, Cohen, Chevaliar, Dulakis…..”
I miss the first day of school, when I would look each child in the eye and tell them how nervous I was about meeting them. I’d tell them about waking up at night, worrying that they might not like me. I would laugh as I told them about picking out my first day of school outfit, and changing my mind five times before the first day.
I loved being a teacher. I loved the joy of taking a group of disparate souls and helping them to form a cohesive classroom unit.
Mostly I miss those completely unexpected moments when all 25 of us would break out in laughter. I miss the hugs. I miss the snacks. The history lessons, the incredibly touching and surprising written words. I miss the smiles, the frowns, the pushing back against my “authority”.
I was a good teacher. I loved being with my students every day.
I wish that I hadn’t been pushed out of my classroom by an insecure and over controlling administrator.
I wish that this was that week when my stomach would fill with butterflies and my heart would skip some of its beats. I with that I was in my classroom, placing name tags on desks and getting ready to know and love and laugh with a whole new group of inspiring young people.
I remember what it felt like to come to the end of August knowing that you were about to enter a demanding and fulfilling September.
And I’m sad.
I wish that I was one of those lucky teachers spending this week opening boxes of brand new markers.
I miss it.