August 4, 2010

The time has come

Five and a half weeks ago I stood with 14 teachers in an office going over our orientation day. The teachers got their classrooms ready, and then the students arrived. Tomorrow is their last day of class before they have a blast at a talent show and return home to their parents. As the cliché goes: ‘It feels just like yesterday’.

I had some time to myself the other day and took a stroll through the halls and classrooms and this is what I saw.

Tomorrow everything will need to come down. There are painters coming to give the school a fresh coat in time for September. There will be mixed feelings abound. Relief that five weeks of lesson planning and its lessons is finally over. Sadness as a teacher removes the faces and the adjectives that describe them from their door. Happiness as students get ready to see their family and start their college studies. And of course tears, as those same students say goodbye to friendships that helped them survive away from home.

Previous year’s teachers have warned the newcomers that there will be waterworks on Thursday, and it won’t be just the students. The teachers have formed a great team and since many have worked quite closely together, some friendships have been made as well. While no teacher will be sad saying goodbye to the photocopier that tormented us throughout the five week, there will be some realizations Friday morning when teachers first open their eyes and think ‘I don’t need to go to school today’. There will be some relief, then followed by a twinge of sadness. They probably won’t see their students again, and it may be some time before they see their colleagues again.

Last Friday was the last assembly for the program and it was a nice way to finish. One class did a sing-along with a picture presentation on the screen above. Pictures showing the smiles, good times, and experiences that made the program once in a lifetime for them. The second class had a dance routine that got the mood up and the feet shuffling. Tomorrow evening, it will be some of the same, and of course more tears for both sadness and happiness.


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