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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Five more weeks. I thought I'd never see the day...

It feels like June will never come, yet I know it lies in wait around the corner. It will pounce upon me, demanding not only finals and term papers, but this year also parent conferences, transitional planning meetings, progress reports, clean-ups, and goodbyes. And spring fever, of course. It will taunt me with unachieved goals, now lost forever in if only. It will clutch at my heart with fear of the future. I can already hear its tiptoeing steps, its bated breath...

So if any productive reflecting is to happen, it ought to be now.

If I had to pick one word to describe this year, it would have to be Full. Full of action. Full of frustration. Full of work. Full of people. Full of triumph. Full of heartbreak. Full of learning. Full of growing.

During this year I completed my transformation from student to teacher, though I realize now that I always have been and will be both.
I played a part in turning closed, defeated children into trusting, interactive personalities.
Although my students never ceased to frustrate me, I never ceased to love them... and I learned to like them, too. I feel like a quasi-mom.
I bit my tongue a thousand times and found strength in my silence.
I lost my patience once. Do I regret it? Maybe. But it showed two things: 1. I can slip up and things can still be OK afterward. 2. ONCE. (Now, BasMelech, don't count your chickens -- there are five more infuriating weeks left!) I guess I do have some patience, after all.
I gave more than I ever thought I had -- and found hidden reserves within me.
I learned a lot about who I am. And that's not as bad as I'd thought it would be.

The end is near.

As I handed in my resignation, I heard in my heart the clang of a heavy door slamming behind me. Why do I feel this sense of loss? I'm only gaining -- new opportunities, new life, about ten more hours each day... But you know me; I hate letting go... Or maybe it's fear of the unknown: What will next year's teachers do to these kids I've come to love so fiercely?

It's the end of a chapter, but the beginning of a new one. I'm definitely ready to close that exhausting chapter, but it wasn't all bad: As a result, the new one will be deeper, richer... and much better appreciated.

I hear the bolt slip into place with an ominous clunk. Accepting the finality, I look around and realize: I have not been locked into a forbidding prison, but thrust out into a wide world with many open doors.

11 comments:

Ezzie said...

Beautiful.

halfshared said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
badforshidduchim said...

Relief coupled with... uncertainty? So where to now - accounting?

pobody's nerfect. said...

on cornerpoint's suggestion, i wrote a list (during a very pointless class in the most wonderful college located on Ave J...) of what i would daven for each of my students. i never finished the list, but it's one of my goals for before the year end. Next year i want to do it Chanuka-time cuz it really made me see some of them in a different light and urged me to help them develop their middos. (you could also list their best quality if it helps.) so in all your spare time, make a list!

David_on_the_Lake said...

Your dedication to these kids is so admirable...

Lvnsm27 said...

yasher koach

ProfK said...

Yes, it is hard when something so worthwhile draws to an end. Just keep in mind that that all endings are just new beginnings of something else.

chanie said...

just found your blog and like it...

Bas~Melech said...

Thanks for all the kind words.

Just checking in to let y'all know I'm still alive here -- just deeply mired in end-of-year work. I'll be back, iy"H.

M said...

Wow.

That was beautiful. Both the writing and the content.
Wow. Thank you for the inspiration.

Bas~Melech said...

Eurgh. I now realize that I severely understated this post. Now that the End is actually upon me... ew. Progress reports, cleaning up, something fun, and on top of that I'm starting to really miss being a teacher.

:-(

Oh well... only 10 days left till camp!