27 February 2007

choose your own adventure

So my favorite kid just walked out the door.

It's a hard thing as a teacher because you're not supposed to play favorites, but there are just some kids that you really look forward to seeing every day. I've created specific assignments because I wanted to see what the artsy kid did with them and I've structured certain projects because I wanted to push my quiet kids or see what my crazy kids came up with.

But this was a kid who challenged me more as a teacher than the others (he had a smart mouth, but you couldn't chastise him too much or he'd really internalize your disappointment) and who made lectures and supervising groupwork really, well, fun.

They don't really tell you how to handle goodbyes in teaching school.

He left Monday without saying "goodbye" and I made his class have a moment of silence out of respect (but really, I just needed a minute to collect myself). We retired his desk, hung up his cap, and worked together to figure out a way to ship his book collection to him in Taiwan. The other students tiptoed around me a lot because I told them that losing a student really bothered me.

He came back this afternoon to clear out his locker and we walked him to the taxi where his grandmother waited. And they talked about how they hoped he wouldn't change and how they might be in Taipei this summer and how this is the worst part about being an international student. And his friends had to watch him cry as the taxi drove away and it was all like a sappy movie but all sappy movies have a kernel of truth to them, so I guess that goodbyes really can be like that.

And it makes me like the others even more and I think I just suck at goodbyes in general.

betholindo at 15:16

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