We’re short on subs lately, so frequently we’re asked to cover absences during our conference periods. Today I covered a junior English class in P-1, which happened to be my very first classroom at Bell in 1991. The students’ assignment: Read the mentor text, consider their goals (education, career, family, health), and write their own “Where I’m Going” poem.
After I took roll, I read the sample poem aloud, but as I neared the end, I had to pause to keep from losing my composure (and all my “I-got-this” sub cred). Reading those last two stanzas in the very space where I began this journey—YOWZA!
It was in this very room that my overhead blew up on my first day. It was here that my parents sat in the corner to watch me teach before buying me lunch one special afternoon. It was here that I held a penny to a makeshift antenna so we could watch the OJ verdict on a big ol' tube TV. Here I announced to my newspaper staff that I was engaged, and here I told them I was pregnant. Here my students and I laughed and learned and struggled and learned some more. (Pretty sure I did most of the learning.)
Since those days in P-1, I have taught in P-5, B-9, N-22, and N-24, the current room I’m actively trying to empty. All these spaces hold indelible memories, but what a gift to have one last special moment in the place where it all began.