A week from today life will be very different. A week from today I will be on my own; the thought is simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. This time next week I will open the door and walk into a world of self-reliance. I imagine this is how my year 12s feel each year as they turn to face the dying days of term three and realise, they will soon refer to the school which sheltered them for the past 12 years as – ‘my old high school’.
A week from today I will close the door to my classroom. I will wish my students a safe, fun filled holiday and leave knowing I am no longer their English teacher. However, I cannot say goodbye. The finality of the words seem too permanent and just as I have never said ‘goodbye’ to my year 12s, I cannot say ‘goodbye’ to my students now. So instead, to all my classes I will say ‘see you later’.
Of course, ‘see you later’ is not enough. It does not express the myriad of emotion I feel knowing I will not see their smiling (ok, usually smiling) faces glancing up at me as they fold themselves onto plastic chairs that balance precariously on two (make that one) leg. I wonder if they will miss the times I reminded them to listen carefully all the while offering hand signals worthy of an air traffic controller. I question if they will remember the lessons that drifted from the text into the world of human experience. I hope they will continue to reflect upon how a story speaks to them.
I know I will miss my classes, even though I carry their legacy inside. My students have been my inspiration and their shadows have found a home within my world of expression. They live in my memory. My students have my respect, my loyalty and my admiration; so to all of you – past and present, I say a big and heartfelt THANK YOU.
As I turn toward the future I feel a growing anticipation. The next chapter of my story promises to be an exciting adventure. Soon I will have the time to really teach. Rather than being constrained by curriculum, I can offer students so much more. I can teach them how to learn. I will stand beside many students, from many schools and support them while they become aware of themselves and their place within the world. I will introduce them to effective communication and critical literacy.
Is This MyStory is ready to launch. You are all welcome to join this quest. Will you walk with me along the learning path?