I thought I would spend my whole life in a classroom.
My mom, when I was born, was a high school teacher, so I was in the classroom before I ever went to school. Back then, I was a special guest. (At least in my mind!) Then, when I was in the classroom as a student, I just assumed that I was still a special guest, but one in disguise, playing a part, putting in the years, until one day I was at the front of the room. The Teacher.
It hasn’t played out that way. Now I’m back to, at best, being the special guest. If I’m in the classroom, I’m not a real teacher, no, but the visiting writer, artist, etc. Just passing through. A workshop or two, then I’m off on a plane.
There was a brief lunch period last week, in between two workshops I was running, when I was sitting at the teacher’s desk at the head of a high school classroom, alone, and I almost felt like a real teacher. Exhausted, but wired. Pulling together my materials. Listening to the silent hum from the empty desks. Eating a sandwich. Drinking a can of Coke. Leaves falling out in the courtyard. Imagining the next period, what we’d talk about, what we’d do.
Then the bell rang.