I was at the hospital with my husband Monday and Tuesday. When I returned yesterday my students were happy to see me and I was even happier to see them. By this time in the year we have formed a strong bond and we have genuine feelings for each other that go beyond a “working relationship”. I suppose that is one thing that is very different about teaching as compared to other professions, especially for a woman. As a mother and grandmother I have the emotional tendency of my gender to “adopt” children and I care about them even after they leave my classroom. Once you have spent nine months (irony?) with a child you can’t just say “have a nice life” and forget about them.
So yesterday was filled with questions about my absence and a couple of reprimands as well. Two students were rather stunned and offended that I would even be absent! Surely there is nothing as important as being in school with them. lol
There was also a very different atmosphere in class yesterday. Everyone was well-behaved and hard-working. It was as though they were rewarding me for my return and showing their gratitude in the only way they could. I’m sure by today some of them will be comfortable enough to return to their less-than-wonderful ways.
It was also reassuring to talk to the substitute who took my place yesterday. Sometimes as teachers we wonder if our perspective about particular students is accurate, and the observations and experience of another adult can be quite helpful. The first three students she mentioned and the problems she encountered with them echoed my own challenges. Good to know! Substitutes are the only other adults who spend more than twenty to thirty minutes in our classrooms.
Today we will return to our normal routine. We are trying to learn as much as possible before the Thanksgiving break. Once my students return from that we will have lots of excitement about Christmas and it will be difficult to fill their little heads with much more than review and practice until after the holidays!