I’m back in India now, in my new apartment with (framed!) things hanging on the walls. I am technically settled.
I am also back at the same school for two years running for the first time. I get to teach the same kids twice – spend two years of their early lives with them, for 80 minutes every other day, and sometimes more.
I am amazed at how much time I spend thinking about these children. I see them so much and they are so good. Their brains are so free – pinging off everything they encounter and testing every limit they meet. It’s amazing how much they can annoy the living snot out of me, crack me up, depress me and really just amaze me with their thinking every. single. day.
Honestly. Sometimes it’s one kid who makes me go through all of those emotions in 80 minutes alone.
So I missed them over the holidays and wondered what books they were reading. I hoped that they were being put outside to run around and enjoy the grass their feet were so obviously missing. That they’d see the friends and families they miss while they live in their home-away-from-home. That they would learn something awesome and new and come back on the first day of school with stories they’d want to tell. And it was great to see them again and even get hugs from some of my girls and just be happy to see them and know that they were happy to see me too.
And I think of them now, wondering if they’re going to get their homework done. Wondering if their musical performances are going well, or if their sports tournaments were fun. If they’re having fun rehearsing for the play. I think about if they’re happy – if puberty is being kind to them or if they’re feeling overwhelmed and lost and stuck in some miserable life-ending drama (like I was at that age…). Honestly – I remember those years being so incredibly difficult and yet, I see most of my students seeming to have a good time of it.
I don’t wish I was their friend – well, honestly and truly there are a few I’d love to know as adults, because they’ll be totally awesome – but I am close to them and I care for them. I think of the ones who have left and the ones who will leave and miss them.
There’s so much life ahead of these children, and I am so privileged to get to play the part that I do in them. I’m really lucky to be a teacher, and really couldn’t imagine giving it up for anything.