Last year, I participated in the SOLC as a student and an intern. I was cozily ensconced in a university, happy with my part-time job and my full-time class-load. I dreamed of my classroom, and was arrogantly sure I would never go back to my hometown.
So much changes in a year. I teach freshmen, sophomore, and junior year language arts to almost 150 students at a high school. I’m back in the town that I grew up in, with all the expectations and assumptions weighing heavy on my shoulders. My hair is a little bit longer, and I’m a few pounds thinner. Teaching has been enormously frustrating, challenging, scary, and rewarding. I’ve only cried in the middle of the day three times, and two of those have been because of parents. The third time was from a holiday card that a student wrote me.
Everything’s different. And everything’s the same. You can’t outrun yourself.