Today, I walked out of the classroom for the last time. I have no reason to expect otherwise. For many who are retiring, this is a moment of joy, or relief, or celebration. For me, it was a moment of profound loss.
Ultimately it was my choice to end my work, but it was choice borne of necessity. When others refuse to yield anything and there are important things at stake, someone has to act. And so I chose to act.
I cried you know, I cried in the room just as we were walking out. I cried for the recognition that I would never, ever again be able to experience young people growing in the way I did this year. I cried for being stripped of the most meaningful, honest and genuine working relationship I have had in thirty years of teaching. I cried for all the learning that I had accrued and continued to accrue over all of this time that would now lie dormant, and ultimately wither.
“Oh there are so many schools out there for you”, I hear them saying.
Clearly they are not listening and likely have never listened. Clearly they have no notion of where I am in time and space. Clearly they have no idea of what it took to get to this point of being. Clearly they have no understanding of heart.
Perhaps if they had bothered to look, they may have caught a glimpse. But they didn’t.
It was a moment of profound loss.