Even though I have a full day of work tomorrow, today was really my last day "teaching": tomorrow will be taken up with the 8th grade celebrations and ceremony, plus end of the year housekeeping.
Know what I did as my last day as a middle school teacher? Showed my Social Studies classes "America Rock" from "Schoolhouse Rock". Sounds simple, right? Nothing about that should make me emotional.
Until 2nd period. Of those 17 students, 14 have been mine for two years. And they were singing along. I'm not kidding. One boy put his head down to sleep, but the rest of the group were singing, arms linked and swaying as if they were at a concert, and they were loving every minute of it. I wish I'd had my Flip camera.
These are the kind of kids I've had for the last two years: teenagers without the usual ennui, with a lust for life and an innocence that belies their intelligence.
I cried the entire drive home. It feels like I'm breaking up with someone I still love because I know we shouldn't be together.
You have to understand, teaching has been my deepest passion for the past eight years. I used to refer to it as "my Tara", ala "Gone With the Wind": the thing I loved more than anything else, the thing that drove me.
All year, I've been focused on this end. And now that it's here, my heart is splintered.