I have been teaching during someone’s maternity leave recently, and I discovered something today – when the teacher returns, I will have been with the students more than she has. Just now, I checked the calendar, and it seems that I have already been with them for longer than she was, due to Hurricane Harvey. It is odd to me to consider that these kids would be more my students than her students. It is her class, and I have always seen it that way. So have the kids. And so we likely will continue to live in this odd little my world within her world setup, where the kids are, indeed, mine, but we are all hers. Something like that, anyway.
I will miss these kids. If I really think about it, …well, no I don’t do that. Whenever I begin actually to consider it, my eyes grow hot and threaten an outpouring of tears. I suppose I really do love the kids so much, even though they drive me frustrated so often as they do. They know I love them, and so do I. And it is difficult to consider that I no longer will see these people who have been part of my daily life for so long, and as we all have worked through so much together.
A teacher friend of mine sent me a message tonight, saying how we needed to do something, because she missed me. It turns out that neither one of us has done much other than school lately. This time in particular, even more so than other times I have taught, the students are my social interactions in life. I call my mom in the evenings, because I am craving adult interaction. I don’t have interaction with friends. I just have these kids. In a sense, they are my friends, and I have no others (whom I see, anyway). And so I will miss them all greatly, and even some of the stupid stresses they force upon me, like throwing ice at one another in class or unknowingly rejecting a beautiful opportunity to learn and to help themselves become beautiful successes in life. Yes, I will miss these kids who are not mine, but mine. I love them dearly.