Yesterday was my last day of school. I have to tell you - it ended in tears. Not the gentle, graceful tears that are easily wiped away but sobs that flooded out and required tissues and shirt sleeves.
The realization that I wouldn't be around to see their future hit me like a punch in the gut. I've whispered in a few ears "Remember you are college material." Those girls may think I'm insane, but I realize there may not be someone at home talking it up. A lot of times there's someone at home shouting "Do you think you're better than me!" Three years from now, I won't be there to kindly smile and say "What college are you thinking of? Do you need a recommendation?" I realize I'm passing the baton on to the teachers who are staying. I trust they will say those words to the ones who need to hear it. I just wish I could be that one extra cheerleader.
What happens to a dream deferred?
by Langston Hughes
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
I suppose that poem is a little dramatic. But it rolls and rolls in my brain over and over.
The realization that teaching jobs aren't a dime a dozen hit me hard too. Maybe I'll end up in another school. Maybe I'll end up going back to graduate school. Maybe I'll end up finish that Spanish degree.
I may need a new poem to think about.