Thursday, June 05, 2008

The last day, the last day, the last day.. how many ways can that echo in my head?

One young lady gave me the sweetest card with a heartfelt note written inside. The one line that will echo always in my head: "You blow me away with how much you care, and respect the students." You always wonder, as a teacher, how you come across to your students. Do they KNOW you care? Do they KNOW you only demand the best because you see the potential in them? Do they KNOW you love them even when they are acting like hooligans and you want to throttle them? Her words make me think that maybe, just maybe, yes, they do KNOW.

Also echoing in my head are the words from my own mouth at one of the terrors I had this year. Pat was always into something he ought not have been, never quite on task, a dirty, unkept boy, that I just never really liked, though I tried hard to mask those feelings. As we left the auditorium walking through the high school halls, I had warned them to be quiet, walk softly, make not even a whisper so we did not disturb any of the high school classes taking exams. They were doing so well, or so I thought, until Pat reached over and nipple pinched another boy. I was furious, furious beyond what the situation and action dictated so I marched him into the cafeteria, our destination, and pointed him to the wall in a chair where I told him he would remain the next 2 and half hours left in our half day schedule. No hint of kindness or compassion in my voice. Just anger, disgust and intolerance. Pat sat. Not a word. He watched the activity the others were doing with silent resignation. The hour passed. My conscience tugged at my mind. Finally, I walked over and started to speak. Pat immediately perked up, before I could speak, apologizing for his actions, telling me he was sorry and he understood why I was angry. He took the wind out of my righteous sails as I told him what I had come to say, he could participate in the next activity after all. He actually acted as if he didnt think he deserved that honor, so I tried to explain how I was simply out of patience and had overreacted. He was wonderful in the gym the rest of the day, shooting baskets, smiling, laughing... as my angry words echoed in my head.

"He called my mom a slut," echoes in my head also. Poor Bry. Dustin throwing those hateful words at her must have been like a slap in the face. No consequences to pass out at school, I still made a phone call to his mother to tell her of his words. She promised to ground him indefinitely. I hope she follows through. The hatefulness of intentionally trying to hurt another is beyond me. The cruelness echoes in my head.

The sharp resounding bark of my dog at near midnight last night echoes in my head as well. I had stayed up to nearly 11, way past my usual bedtime on a school night to see the Wings win the Stanley Cup and was not really quite asleep. Scout burst out of her bed cursing dog barks at the window, piercing the night, making my heart leap into my throat wondering was it just a racoon that had startled her or was it something more serious.

I flicked on the outside light to see toilet paper streaming from everything in my front yard. I bit shaken, I grabbed my robe and slippers and led Scout, still growling, to the front door. We went out onto the step and surveyed the scene. Toilet paper on everything from the mailbox by the road, to the split rail fence, the pear trees, the shrubs, the bird feeder, and everything in between. My car was painted with white letters: HAHA & Happy Last Day of School & We luv u & U R a awesome teacher.

And suddenly, echoing in my head were Ian's words of several days this week: "Have you ever pranked anyone?" "what's the best prank anyone's done to you?" "do you get mad when people do pranks?" and the last odd question from him, just this morning, "what kind of car do you drive to school every day?" Then I started laughing, realizing this kid has NO future as a criminal. Scout and I went back to bed, she still shaken, sleeping on top of me the rest of the night.

When I saw Ian in the hal this morning, I laughed and pointed my finger at him, saying "you got me!"

Ian, being not the career criminal type, answers, "What? I didnt do anything? I didn't even have a ride to your house!"

His buddy gave him away with the laughter to THAT response!

More echoes are there as well, but for now.... those are keeping the tears and laughter flowing.

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