Millions of children are packing up their notebooks and chrome books into backpacks and heading back to school. Teachers too. In my house the morning alarm is back on and travel mugs are in use. Accountability has returned. Perhaps just in time as summer always brings out my every delicious lazy quality. Maybe for your school age children too? Those of us in the building face deadlines and due dates, eligibility requirements and tardy consequences. After two years of COVID interruptions, these restrictions will feel like a straight jacket for some, but for others there will finally be a comfort in having structure back in place. The pendulum is swinging back, at least in our school district, with many reporting issues, of course the humorous irony is how accountability feels like a rarity in many of the political figures central to our lives right now. Wouldn’t you agree?
Year 29 is over, grades wrapped up, classroom straightened out, and kiddos graduated! Time to celebrate all the teachers from coast to coast, and applaud a job well-done during this extraordinarily challenging year. You & me & all the rest of us: we did it!
How can I still be in a classroom, and still love teaching, even this year, you might ask? Well it isn’t necessarily due to anything particularly done by the greater public or certainly not all the ups and down of working around COVID protocols. There is just something that happens when, text in hand, I sit among readers and writers, and we talk complex characters or plot twists or even a last word, that just fuels me. We are in need of some hope, and whether plodding though Shakespeare’s Hamlet or being somewhat horrified by Shelley’s Frankenstein, or discovering the images and poetry generated during the short life of Basquiat, my student’s visions and imagery and words grant a faith in mankind I might not have found without them.