In ways I feel like this is my good-bye; my good-bye to my past life and my music. I am not talking about the music I love but the music I have written. I hope this is not what that means.
I listened to my iPod on the way home today. Generally I do not need the positive distraction of music on the way home, but I did today. Jewel’s “Innocence Maintained” came on and I thought of the poetic vulnerability of her words and her voice. Then a cover I recorded of “Wild Horses” came on and I found my voice to be similar. I thought of the ways my drive helped me sing live; how I sang that very song at a wedding reception. I’m not sure this will ever be for me again. I’m not sure if this is what gets me off anymore and this makes me sad.
I see children on the bus and I see my future. I know this is true whether they will be my children or the children that I will teach. There is something so real and vulnerable in this. I realize how I am changing and it unsettles me.
No one told me teachers college would be like this. I heard it would be violent with no focus on equality, I heard there are no jobs in teaching, and I heard that teachers college is hard to get into but a joke to get through. I can tell you this is not true.
Sure, maybe the jobs are scarce but there is a focus on inequality and the curriculum is unsettling. We watch movies that talk of love in the classroom. We learn the magic of story telling. And we learn how students handle loss and pain.
Then we go on to our next class without an ounce of healing and generally this class will be the most unsettling of all for me. It will be a class where I will be given tasks that are not familiar. A book and paper will not be the focus. We will move around the room like children and sometimes this makes me happy and childlike, other times it leaves me very unsettled. I wonder what I am doing in teachers college. Why am I here? What does this have to do with teaching? But it all changes when I am with the students.
I cannot explain to you what it is like. I love the curriculum that allows me to think, to connect, and to go back to “the ghosts of the classroom” that haunt me now, in my readings and in my teachings. I wonder if this unsettling feeling is part of the plan. Do they want to break us down to feel compassion? Do we need to feel this vulnerability to connect with the students? I’m not sure I need to be so raw to teach. All I know is that it all feels worth it when I am with them again.
There is something in the very way that they answer my questions. They give me new ways to think about things. It is unbelievable the amount of happiness they give me when they say something so fresh and new; something I never heard before. And then I realize how lucky I am. It really is a vulnerable, unsettling feeling to know that I may one day stand up on my own with a classroom full of students, hoping, in the very least, that I can help them to not hate school. I think of the ways my own year has been so hard. I hope I can make it a bit better for them. I will do my best and go from there.