It’s a strange juxtaposition of feelings, when you’re a teacher. This is my empty classroom (all the desks have been moved downstairs to the gym for testing purposes).
It’s a strange and empty feeling, with all the students gone and the work undertaken each day composed of proctoring tests, grading, assessing completed exams, pulling together final reams of paperwork in the form of “proofs” of the work I do all year as a teacher so that I can receive my “score” (that will designate me as “effective”, “highly effective”, “developing” or really in trouble), and ordering supplies and books for next year, taking everything off the walls, straightening up files, etc etc.
I prefer the have the liveliness of teenagers (spanning ages of 14 – 18, depending on the grade I’m teaching that period) in my classroom. But at the same time, this signals a shift to the different, less harried work of summer. It’s just as demanding, only at a different pace (and with no pay, of course, LOL).
Any real writing I may get to do will take place in the next two months.
But much of that time will be spent trying to “catch up” on all the household things let go all year, carting my own teen here and there and babysitting my new granddaughter, not to mention slowly – always – getting ready for the coming new academic year in the fall, and the six new classes of students I will face each day.
So it is bittersweet to me.
I used to think I’d get used to it over time – but this year marks the completion of my 27th year of teaching, and it’s never changed. I still feel that little flutter of emptiness and that lump of memory of all the lively, engaging, sometimes upsetting but always useful moments that have happened in this space since the first day of September.
And I miss my students.