Did I not fix my face this morning? Did I not prepare enough for my lesson to sufficiently engage my students? Did I talk too much, explain too little, ask too much, or push too hard? Should I have let her go to the bathroom? Should I have prevented him from going when all he wanted to do was walk around in the hallway? Did he just need some space to breathe because he’s having a hard time concentrating? Who does he not like in the class? Who does he like and is that why he’s writing little notes to her? Him? Was I too loud in my reproach? Did I listen to the student who’s been absent so long, he barely remembers his teachers’ names? Should I have sat down with him earlier? Should I have given him less warnings? More assignments? Someone more forceful about working through the today’s problems?
Should I have taken a small breather after class?
Should I have kept my patience on 10 with my after-school students? Could I have pushed them to think instead of just giggle at their erroneous suggestions? Should I have pushed her not to quit on me? On us? On life? Can I pump the breaks on a speeding locomotive moving in the opposite direction? How can I smooth out the edges when I’m trying to balance an “after-school” program when I’m still in school, in the moment, in my head? Are my day-to-day actions contributing to someone else’s angst, and if so, when do I know? What am I doing? Is there tomorrow? How can I prevent a school shooting? Better yet, how can we care more for our kids and be more conscious of what we do, if at all? How can I not live without regrets in moments like these?
All I have is tomorrow, and a hope that I can make it right. I’ll keep my chin up in the meantime. Chin up, Vilson. Chin up.
*** photo c/o ***