Today I told my students that we are heading off to Egypt.
The responses ranged from, “Why are you leaving us?” to “Why did you choose Egypt?!?” to “Why can’t I come with you?!?!?”
Any time a major change happens, a part of me is ready to embrace whatever is to come. Equally, a part of me slides on the rose-colored glasses and waxes nostalgic, aching to stay where I am. I’m currently sitting in the midst of the latter. All I can think about is how much my students make me laugh, the many ways they have instigated growth and change within me, and the pure and unadulterated joy I feel when I am with them. I can’t seem to remember the frustration or annoyance or plain old exhaustion.
So it was appropriate this morning, when I told my ASAP (advisory) students the news, a kid said, “Let’s have a moment of silence to remember all of the good times we’ve had together.” So we did. And it was good.
Then we had a group hug, and the boys started singing, “We Are Family.”
We are a family. We trust each other, we drive each other nuts, and we have fun together. Most of the students have been mine for 3 years, which is one of the most consistent relationships some of them have. I used to think it was funny when students accidentally called me “Mom.” Now half of my students intentionally call me “Mom.” Another student asked if she could be the god-student to my future baby. (I think she’d be the first god-student in the history of the world.) We are family.
And the best part of family is feeling supported. Another student said today, “Well, the good news is you are following your dream, right?” Right you are.
I’ll end tonight with a little inspiration from Sister Sledge: “High hopes we have for the future, and our goal’s in sight.” The part of me ready to embrace the change agrees whole-heartedly. The part of me aching to stay right here, right now agrees too.