The calendar reads August. Teachers everywhere are resigned to the passing of summer and thoughts are filled with a mixture of relief– no more wasted days, my life has significance again!, dread– wake up at 5:30?, I can’t watch 11 PM episodes of Law and Order anymore because it’s too late?, fear– the kids just seem to get tougher every year, but how can it be tougher than last?, to excitement– staff meetings, and state standards! And then we look at the calendar to the next vacation!
What I really left out of that list was the anticipation of the new school year. All but the most calloused of us genuinely look forward to starting another year. Lessons learned from last years challenging class will make this years challenging classes easier, right? Maybe a different schedule is what we’re looking forward to, sure would be nice to have last hour for planning. New colleagues, new administrators, but mostly new student’s.
Our hard working guidance department has the student schedules lined up as best they can. Administrators have worked out staff schedules.
And on August 11 they’ll appear. Into my classroom will walk approximately 150 students, some eager to learn, some not so, some not sure. I believe they’re divinely appointed. They’ve been appointed to me by God.
And here’s what I mean. Through the years I have had numerous students who I have been blessed to be able to teach. Students like a Frelisha and Brandie and Sherree and Michael and Travis, and Jonathan made going to work easier. They truly touched my life as I watched them for a couple of years.
There was Walter and Jamie and Topeka and Demond and Greg and LaDarrion who gave me street names and Terrance who said yes sir to me 1000 times, each and every time after I reprimanded him for some misdeed.
Who will be the next Cinderella, who was absolutely as wonderful a young woman as her name sounded? Who will walk in my door like Kerry who had a focus and determination to beat the odds and receive that diploma?
Who will make me smile like Carter who copied a paper from a website that was written in German and turned it in? (His severe reading issues were on full display that time). Or Jerome who thanked me for my teaching him with a line I use now, “If you ever need a kidney let me know.” Who will grab me around the neck with his tree trunk sized arms like Big Nick and tell me to give him a better grade?
I want to go on, there’s so many good memories of these children who have enriched my life these last 8 years. Who will be the next Leondell whose infectious smile reflects his love of the LORD and his love and respect for you as a person? Who will be the next Jericho or Terry to laugh at my jokes?
What hour will another Lavar or Shaniqua, or Karry come in and push me to work hard for them so that they will also work hard like they did? When will my next David or Erwin appear and express like they did how much they appreciated their school and my class?
I’d guess in no class ever again will I have three students named Arnesha, Ernesha and Ernisia like I did one year in my 3rd hour. But I hope I have students like them who will give back like they did.
So who will be next? Obviously I’ve left out a couple of names, a couple have been changed. Frankly, I can’t remember a lot of the names, even of those who had a significant impact on me and what I do. I only pray that in the coming year I will be used by God to be a teacher who touches students in the way that I’ve been touched by them.
Update: It’s been happening for a week now!