Regular readers of this blog will know that I generally tend to highlight the absurd of this job. I discuss that which enrages, embitters and saddens. These are the things that make me laugh. And without laughter, Mr. Teachbad becomes dangerous.
But today I’d like to discuss something different. As I have mentioned, I teach mostly seniors. These cats are ready to go. They are as done with Mr. Teachbad’s bullshit as he is with theirs. But in the midst of all of the craziness of the end of senior year, and despite my complaining about all the lazy kids, and despite the most unnecessary and unpleasant drama among the adults, it’s a pretty amazing thing to watch and be a part of.
They are headed out and not a one of them knows what’s going to happen. Most of them can’t even pretend. Their reactions to uncertainty range from true to transparently false confidence, from optimism to nonchalance to unmasked, paralyzing fear. I feel truly grateful that many of these kids, my students, have trusted me with their hopes and victories. I am especially proud that they have trusted me with their fears and insecurities. This is why I teach. And it is deeply rewarding. And I will miss my seniors. I have allowed my own ego and the pettiness of grown-ups to turn me bitter.
I’m going to work on that. You should, too.