Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Count Down

It was 7:50 a.m. As I walked up the grey slanted ramp to my classroom, a feeling of disbelief overcame me. Gees, I thought, just thirty more turns of the key in the lock and tugs on the door, and I’m out of here. These last few months seemed like a blur. Then, while balancing my coffee cup, I slipped the key in the lock and yanked the door open. Once inside the students clambered around me vying for my attention. “My momma’s gonna have a baby.” “Look at my new shoes.” “Teacher, I like your dress.” A little finger with a miniscule scrape is thrust in my face as a voice rings out, “I’m bleeding.” One child offers me a smudged and crumbled piece of paper. “Here’s my homework.” My chest tightened as I absorbed the call of so many. I always wished I had the energy and stamina to meet the needs of each scrubbed and unscrubbed face that looked up at me throughout my career. Today was no different. I took a deep breath.

My eyes circled the room. The white board, word wall, art work, student writing, math, and science bulletin boards decorating the walls of this bungalow, that housed so many students over the years, soon would be torn down and enter my past. A sense of relief mixed with hesitancy overcame me. It marked the beginning of shedding “the teacher” and reclaiming the person that lived years before deciding upon a teaching career. Then I walked to my teaching chair, called the class to order, and began the day.

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