An Empty Classroom

Farewell CakeFriday was my last day with my kiddos in Grade Six.  It was, to say the least, a very hectic and somewhat bitter-sweet day.  After writing their last Provincial exam in Science, my kids were just ready to PAR-TAY!  So we did…but first…

They cleaned out lockers and desks and I collected textbooks and locks and did those seemingly countless but oh-so-important myriad of tasks that need doing on the last day of school.  My kids took down all their art work from the bulletin boards, then we had a mini-farewell for those few students not returning next year.  My educational assistant, Jaqi, had baked a cake (see picture) and so my kids were already well sugared up before they headed out to have their well-planned-out farewell party with the other two Grade Six classes in the gym.

There was more food, a photo booth, games inside and outside and since I was designated to record the afternoon for posterity by taking photos, I did that with gusto.  (Luckily, I just had to take the pictures not sort through them all after!)

Then precisely at 1:15, there were the “good-bye” hugs, some gift exchanges, and then they were gone.  The hallways were empty, the sound of laughter and excited voices silenced and I returned to my empty classroom.

Walking into that empty classroom I experienced that “peace that surpasses understanding”.  Only teachers understand what it’s like to end a year, sanity mostly intact, recognizing that they have indeed survived!  Job well done…

…And for many teachers of course, they are already preparing for next year!  The peace fades…

As I sit in my empty classroom I recall some days that I wish I could do over.  Lessons taught that never hit the mark.  My patience tested and my voice worn out from trying to get attention from a classroom full of students who were not in the mood to attend.  I will admit, I would come home so weary and exhausted I would collapse into my chair and barely have enough strength to get up to eat dinner.  Then there were those days where a student would have a “light-bulb” moment of understanding a concept in class and the delight would almost overwhelm me!  Marking a term paper, or reading a story a student wrote that showed so much thought and effort and progress…made my whole day!  Then in the middle of those up-down days a “God Moment” would occur and I would be awed by how God could orchestrate a seemingly simple conversation or a lesson so that a child would not just learn a classroom lesson but learn a spiritual principle for life!

Thirty-five years ago I entered a classroom for the very first time to teach a group of Grade Five students.  I remember so very well their little faces looking up at me, waiting for me to teach the first lesson.  I was the brand-new teacher who wanted to change the world.  It did not take me long to realize I won’t change the world, but my students will!

So I give thanks that I have had the awesome opportunity to teach future doctors, lawyers, politicians, moms, dads and world-changers for over thirty-five years.  There is no better job in the world!

“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”  Proverbs 4:13


This entry was posted in Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts, Teach on, Teacher! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An Empty Classroom

  1. Linda Piper says:

    You are a writer my friend.

  2. Blessing Mark says:

    Wow! What a wonderful write up. May God continue to bless all your endeavor ma. It’s quite rare to see a gem like you!

  3. Alisa says:

    Thank you for this lovely post. I finished with my kiddos last week after completing my first year of teaching your thoughts voiced exactly what I was feeling last week as I said good-bye to my class.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.