Friday, June 30, 2017

The School Years Fly By Like Months by Dr. Michael Flanagan

This week concludes my 31st year in education.

It seems the school years fly by like months, each one faster than the last.

I blink and another year has gone.

Teachers crawl to summer break, and question if we are making a difference at all.

Pack away the books, rip down the bulletin board papers

Wonder how we can possibly do this another year.

Wasn’t it just September?

What could we have done better?

Next year I’ll do things differently

I will be stricter about the cell phones.

I’ll own that Danielson teacher evaluation

“Highly effective,”  here I come!

Or, maybe I will just continue being the best teacher I can be, rubrics be damned

Teachers scramble to find standardized exam scores

They watch the elation of a child who passed, and the devastation of one who didn’t

“I am an awesome teacher!”

“I am a hack”

“Awesome...hack... awesome” for every kid who took the test.

The day it stops hurting is the day you need to pack up and go

I look around the halls and have flashes of students from years ago

They’re still here, with me, sitting in these desks.

I find the letters, saved for years, written by students thanking me for being their teacher.

Still make tears well up in my eyes. As they should.

The prom, the awards, the hopes and dreams

The fear of what they will face.

The tragedies of students taken in their prime, before even having a chance to realize those dreams

We search out our kids at graduation, take some pictures, sign their yearbooks...

Some names almost immediately fade from grasp,

Then there’s ones that we will never forget

They took the bullying

Endured the quiet desperation of a child growing into his or her own

Some will move to jobs, the military or college

And into debt

Where will they work?

How will they be safe on these streets?

Just be happy, kids, and learn.

What kind of world are we leaving for our children?

Tear another page from the calendar.

See you in September.

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