Saturday, September 24, 2016

The weirdness (and goodness) of full circle

I subbed 3 days this week, and one of those times was at the school I taught at 12 years ago.  I actually subbed for the gal who subbed for me when I went on maternity leave with N.  Her current teammates are some of my former teammates.

It felt so nice to see former colleagues and receive hugs and hear, "Oh my god, I thought I recognized you!"

Probably my favorite person to see was Mr. L, one of the security guards whom I just loved.

I was told that my reputation preceded me, which I hoped was of the positive variety.

I realized, walking through the halls, how much I had forgotten.  I completely forgot there is a third floor to the building, where the library is.  The day felt familiar, yet hazy.

There are times when I think back on my short-time in the classroom and wonder what kind of impact I had.  I can see so many mistakes, so many errors in how I taught.  Of course, if effort counts for anything I feel I can give myself an "A."  I worked so hard, and I loved those kids (mostly).

Even as a sub, I work really hard to ensure the students learn something and work hard while I'm with them.  A sub day, if I'm in the room, is still a learning day.  One of my former colleagues told the students, "Ms. V is not your typical sub."

A few weeks ago, I saw a former student, AJ....she was one of my favorites.  Just a sweet, sweet girl.  Her mother had died when she was a kid, so she didn't have an easy life.  I actually saw her about 7 years ago and wrote about the reunion then.  I was able to give her some baby boy items, and she let me know when her son was born.

I happened upon AJ at one of N's field hockey games.  She said having a baby forced her to get her stuff together---she went back to school, became a nurse, is now married, and is getting ready to buy her first house.  And I cannot express the sheer joy seeing her, and seeing her life now, gave me.  Did I have anything to do with it, really?  Probably not in any meaningful way, but on some tiny little scale, I like to think I contributed.  That I was a reminder to her that people care for her.

As glad as I am that I stayed home with my children, I'm sure there will alway be a little part of my heart that is sad that I missed out on helping other kids.  

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