Thursday, August 29, 2013
Yes. School started this week. I know this because I watched out my window as the neighbors took first-day-of-school pictures of their two happy kids who were sporting new backpacks. I know because the school next door has the sounds of children shrieking on the playground again. I know school started because it's almost September and I can smell the freshly sharpened pencil aroma in the air.
Yes school started but for the first year since, heck, birth–my dad was a teacher and I spent a lot of time at his school, then I became a student, then I became a teacher–I'm not there.
Will I miss the bells telling kids when to be inside, when to go to lunch, when to play? No. Will I miss the rows of desks, the raise-your-hand to speak, the discipline slips, the rules against tag, the rigid reading program, the pages of data entry, the cranky copy machines, the fluorescent lights, lack of windows, heating issues? No.
I will miss the laughter of teachers and students, the curiosity of 5 and 6 year olds, the moment the lightbulb goes on for a child, the corny jokes only first graders can tell, the friendly sock monkey, lunchtime with friends, drawings from little girls, listening to children teach and help each other.
I will miss the quiet classrooms and the noisy ones. I will miss the stubborn whiny kids and the eager smiling ones. I will miss the polite kids from kindergarten to sixth grade who ALWAYS hold the door for someone and ALWAYS say You're welcome, and, I swear, ALWAYS mean it. I will miss the 2nd-now-3rd grade boy who told me I was looking pretty one day. I still will miss the 4th-now-6th grade boy (he moved away last year) who told me I had "bed head." I will miss my "little teachers"–those 1st and 2nd graders who taught me so much more than I ever dreamed of teaching them. I will miss my desk mates and our cramped portable (but not the lack of a restroom).
I will miss the OFFICE SUPPLIES. Oh I get giddy just thinking about them! I may have to go to Staples later. Post its and paper clips and pencils–oh my!
Sigh. Still, no matter all that I will miss I do not regret my decision to stay home with my little boy. I don't want to miss his moments because I am with someone else's kids. It's sad enough that my husband misses so much time with our son. Maybe one of these years we will trade and I will go back to working away from home.
But for now I may sneak over to school sometimes. OK, sneaking is not a good idea. I promise I will sign in and get my visitor sticker. I may go back when I can to listen to a student read or help a teacher friend with classroom work (please don't send me to the copier for two hours).
Maybe I can go back just enough so I won't be considered truant!