Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In The Classroom

I’m not in the classroom this year. An American can’t just show up and teach in Canada: you need a work permit. You can’t get a work permit until you submit your permanent residence application. You can’t submit your permanent residence application until you get your official marriage certificate. Which doesn’t show up until a month after a wedding. But I digress…

There have been times I’ve really missed being in the classroom this year. It was weird to watch all my old friends post about going back to school in mid-August. Hearing from old students - now juniors - made me miss getting to talk to kids. Getting to show up to my old school’s fall play - I was in town for 30 hours and the schedules fit JUST RIGHT - and getting to see kids I knew and loved do amazing things, and getting to talk to them? That made me miss it.

Nothing like today though.

I turned 37 yesterday. All in all, it was a pretty cruddy birthday. But at some point last night, after I heard that Ron Johnson beat Russ Feingold in my old home state and that Trump was going to win Wisconsin and the presidency, I wanted to be able to be in a classroom today. My classroom. With my kids.

To listen. To hear. To make sure kids felt heard. Loved. That despite what was said publicly about them - immigrants, Muslim, female, LGBT, Latino, … - that kids could feel safe. Today was the day that I missed that.

Teachers I talked to today weren’t sure they were ready, but put on a brave face. They were there for their students, whether they felt ready internally or not.

Today, more than any other day this fall, I wished I had that opportunity.