A Whole Month Left (A Freewrite)

Jose Vilson Education, Jose

“You’re going to miss us!”

“Yes, I’m going to miss bothering the heck out of you!”

I mean, why do students think we’re actually going to spend our off time thinking about them? Except when we do. Like now.

There’s only a month left before we usher them on to their next stations in life (most of them anyways). They’re going to take new trips to school, new friends, different uniforms (if at all), and new teachers. The last one is probably of most concern to me because I at least like to know that the math teacher after me is actually better than me. Maybe he or she will have a little more rigor with collecting work, better feedback, more quiet in the classroom, and their own room for children to really explore math. They’ll have the time to do integrated projects without the compromise of other duties in and out of school. They’ll be patient where I should have been, vociferous where I wasn’t, and kind earlier than I was.

Maybe their home situations will settle down more, and a different environment will help rattle them out of some of their wayward routines, like eating in class and tossing things at each other when they think I’m not looking. Maybe they’ll actually get to school on time and come prepared with all necessary materials, well-clothed, fresh, and mature enough to understand the urgency of a high school environment. They’d eat a few more fruits, drink a multivitamin on occasion, and get better sleep so they feel better in school. Their parents might work things out, and, if they don’t, they at least come to some peaceful resolution that helps the child get by.

They’ll have a settled roof over their heads, and enough strength to bear the ball and chains of their own histories.

All the while, I too hope that I get a chance to reflect harder on my own practice, as I always have, but reflect and act upon it. The time is now to consider all the things that happened since September, yearning for the end of the year. I’ll hate to see them go, but I’d be glad to get another chance to prove myself worthy of missing, and being missed by children who would otherwise be perfect strangers. I’d prefer to not be their greatest math teacher ever, because that’s the freshman year math teacher’s job, followed by the sophomore year math teacher’s …

Mr. Vilson, who has 31 days to “miss” them, so I don’t … yet …