I started to write this. I started to cry.
I know all of my colleagues are rolling their eyes right now because what’s to be sad about? I got to make the amazing choice to stay home next year. And it’s a choice I wanted and desired and prayed over and made long before we knew about the bank closing or losing insurance or gas going to a zillion dollars a gallon.
And I’m so thankful.
And sad. And scared to death.
People ask me if this is just a sabbatical. If I’ll return to teaching someday.
I don’t know. I honestly just don’t know. I firmly believe that whatever you do you should do it with all your heart…and my heart hurts right now. It’s been hard. I (and anyone who braves everyday in a classroom) have been so beat down and stifled and discouraged that I don’t know if I’ll ever come back.
And praise God for those who do.
But I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts and long ago I took to heart the verse that promises “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over shall be poured onto your lap.” Luke 6:38
I’ve had my measure. It has been good and it has overflowed.
The boy who found a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows in our book drive donations and asked to take it home.
The time we read Oranges and my student talked about how the oranges symbolize the boy’s nervousness and anxiety around this girl.
The fact that middle schoolers will do anything for a piece of candy. Or a sticker.
The bad (and some great) poetry that haphazardly covers my walls.
The times they have remained seated to hear the end of the story even though classes were changing.
When they love the book more than the movie.
When one says, “Oh, Mrs. Brackett, you have to read this!”
Exhausted after Friday library days from finding the “just one book” for each one.
A door covered in sticky notes.
Watching them mature in 8th grade.
How quiet they are the first day….how they never stop talking on the last.
“Are you coming to our game? Please?”
Bobcat black and gold and pink in memory.
Preposition poems that make me laugh. And think that I’ll never be a writer, but this kid will.
A director’s chair with my name on it from kids who know all the words to “Green Eggs and Ham.”
No name, but I know the handwriting as if it were my own.
Stacks of lit books and pages of plot analysis and all they remember is how funny A Christmas Carol is when your classmates act it out.
Groups that work.
M&Ms and Diet Coke can fix almost anything.
How much they love the book fair…especially the gigantic pencils.
How respectful they are on Veteran’s Day.
When I go to Ingles and my bag boy remembers my class….and tries extra careful to get things just right.
…For with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.