My last day as a teacher in the classroom, was today.
Hardly tumultuous, or thick with heavy emotion. Certainly from the students' point of view, all was normal... it's the last class with you. I have different classes next year, and different teachers. Everything changes. That's the way it is! Hardly worth even noticing, it's so normal... Things end. Things change. In the proper time, new things begin. That's the way the world works.
And they don't even need M.S. to teach them that. To them... it's just plain NORMAL.
Certainly, this M.S.er, can stand to pay very close attention to a 9th-grader's Zen-master-like understanding of what "taking life as it comes" really means.
But back to the final day of teaching... I had planned, and scheduled, for class today to be a "no pressure" day... even an "anti-pressure" day. Nothing due, all we did was watch cartoons. Some sections watched an episode of Denno Coil, some sections watched an episode of Ouran High School Host Club... and to bring everything full circle, I showed my last (ever?) section something that I had shown to the "Bad Movie Club" during the 80's: the inimitable Squeal Of Death.
And best of all, that last section... loved Squeal!
One student, after I told his class that I had enjoyed being with them very much, came up to me and shook my hand and thanked me for the year.
That was wonderful. He knows nothing about my "situation," or what the class means to me... it was all about what the class had meant to him, and how much he had enjoyed our time together.
It was wonderful.
My time with "the school" isn't over... I still have things to extract from my office, like my amp and speakers, a couple of boxes that have yet to be taken home; I have a couple of things that I need to ship that only made it to school (I brought them there because I used them there, for a musical or something like that) but need to be taken not home, but to Box 'N' Ship (or whatever it's called). One of the teachers wants my help with something, I need to make sure that The Right Stuff gets to The Right People, and there's one last farewell session with the Anime Club, and one last BIG teacher's meeting. And, of course, Commencement, on June 3, conducting and playing the organ—my 39th Commencement!
Depending on how much "trickling" of "final see-to-its" that are left, I may wander in and out of the place a bit in June... but "it," whatever "it" is, as far as classroom teaching is concerned... is over.
So... my last day as a classroom teacher. Forever. Or for now. Who knows? Like our M.S. symptoms, there's just no seeing the future, is there?
But I said farewell to my last class. Then I went to the dentist. Then to a Chinese pharmacy, to pick up some of my favorite throat drops, and the walking around the shopping plaza was simply horrible because I had to use my shoes rather than stocking feet (pavement was just too damned hot). Then I got Taiwanese sweet tea: Ozmanthus oolong, my favorite. And the most trying, taxing, painful part of the day, was walking around a shopping plaza not in stocking feet.
Hell of a "last day."
Who says that the Great Machine of the Universe doesn't have a sense of humor?