September is the changing time. It’s when all of a sudden, tests start layering on top of each other like middle schoolers planking at a mall. The blistering Georgia heat is torn away in fits and starts, clinging on to every last lazy minute—but time has moved on. The pace and the breeze and that funny smell of longing in the air have swept us from summer to fall. Today is a blustery snapshot—the kind of dizzy excitement and aching that September means. Today, the whitewashed halls are strewn with bright paper and battered basement furniture. Homecoming week—students stumbling around dressed in Snuggies and Morphsuits while teachers try desperately to get us to think past our false mustaches.
Careers and applications and other business specters dip their fingers into every part of my life now. My family dances on eggshells around the television, hoping nothing sad will come on while I try to justify the last 17 years of my life to the admissions advisors. In Economics we talk about the M&M marketing campaigns and how the politicians are destroying us all. In Literature we learn how to accept the controversial girl in class. At home my brother and I build little houses out of Legos as if they’re a time machine and the only conflict is over who gets the last blue two-er brick. September is the changing time. September is the crash of dumping over the box, trying to put the right pieces together.
I began this school year knowing that it would be quite a transition, moving from having my own homeroom classroom to working with twelve classrooms as an Academic Coach. As exciting as this transition has been, I don’t think I realized how difficult it would be to not have my “home base.”
In preparation for this new position, I kept reminding myself that I’d be working with many children in many classrooms. But the reality of not having “my own children” has been a bit challenging. I must say, however, today I turned a corner. I was thrilled to receive three unsolicited Pre-First hugs (the very best kind) and countless shouts of “Hi, Ms. Hight” from children as they walked down the hall. It has created a great sense of belonging in me.
Having this new position has solidified my understanding that I am in the field of education for the children. With them is where I work at my best and where I feel the most invigorated and creative. The lesson I have learned is that I haven’t lost my own classroom, but instead gained an entire school’s worth of loving and inquisitive children.