With only two weeks left, many of my 8th graders have been asking me whether I’m going to miss them. Missing them implies that they’ve actually left my presence for more than a week. Missing them implies that my job has gone from simple math teacher / coach / data specialist / mentor to teacher / coach / data specialist / mentor / complaint soundboard / end-of-school-year sewer, etc. Missing them implies that I haven’t had to public relations the hell out of DOE’s clusterf*ck we’re calling summer school for all parties. Missing them implies I’m not already reflecting on the things I need to do to ensure that I don’t have the kind of year I had this year (every opportunity is a success, or at least a learning experience).
So a student asked me on Friday, “Mr. Vilson, I’m going to miss you. You gonna miss me?”
“No, because you haven’t left. When you leave … well I haven’t thought about that. I just gotta make sure you’re eligible to leave; that’s my biggest thing right now. You leaving means I’ve done my job right, so until then, no I don’t miss you.”
I didn’t say, “I’ll be happy when I have the opportunity to miss you.”
Mr. Vilson, who’s having the best week ever.