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Rise (Thank you, Millie)

Such is the way of the world

You can never know

Just where to put all faith

And how will it grow

I entered December with Eddie Vedder’s words in my ears and genuinely unsure for how much longer I would be a teacher. Was I bored? In need of a change? Mid-life crisis? Had I lost my passion? I didn’t know, but I knew my head was starting to drift elsewhere. I had doubts about my practice and about my effectiveness as a teacher.

On the last day of school Millie gave me a card. A really nice card about what I’d taught her that year. There was nothing about school in it. She wrote about things like finding your passion, not fearing change and other things I’d spoken about in class, but nothing from the curriculum. The words of an eleven year old ... like a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

She left me that afternoon all teary, one of the more emotional students that day. She forgot to collect something from class and returned at 3.05pm – for a second teary goodbye. I gave her my sincere and heartfelt, ‘You’re going to be O.K.’

‘Oh, I know,’ she said, ‘I’m not worried about high school. I’m sad because I won’t be in your class anymore and I feel like I’m leaving my friend.’

So, now it’s January. I’m back in the classroom reminded of the reason I do this. Relationships. That’s all. That’s all it’s ever been. I hope it’s enough.

Thank you, Millie.

Such is the passage of time

Too fast to fold

Suddenly swallowed by signs

Low and behold

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