I miss a lot of things about teaching. My colleagues. Lesson planning (yes, I love writing lessons and curriculum! My proof is that I am still doing it at Chocolate 4 Teachers). Decorating the room. Lunch time. Those “light bulb” moments. The fast pace. The energy. But hands down…. What I miss the most are the kids. My kids.
I miss the way they made me laugh (mostly at myself). How honest they were, how curious they were, how hard they tried, how vivid their dreams were. Let’s be honest, not all of the kids. There were those that tried my patience, got on my last nerve, and turned some of my hair gray. But, most of them wormed their way into my heart.
I was one of those old-fashioned teachers that believed in structured classrooms. I also believed that respect had to be earned and it was a part of building a relationship. In fact, without respect, there wasn’t much hope of building relationships. So, I’m not sure just how many of them realized how I felt. But, I did love them.
All of these kids gave me a gift that I never had anywhere else- motherhood.
I never missed being a mom because I had my kids at school. They made me feel like a mom minus sick bay duty and college tuition. Some even called me mom (or grandma) which put a smile on my heart. I loved (almost) every moment.
I miss the quirkiness, the laughter, and the successes. I love walking into a business and seeing one of my kids there. (I think it surprises them to know that I am human and actually shop!). I am so proud of their accomplishments. I’ll admit some are difficult to recognize. They changed a lot from 12 years of age to adulthood.
Come to think of it…. They gave me two more gifts. Memories. 21 years (and counting) of wonderful memories. And, new friends. My kids, in their adulthood, have become my friends. I treasure that. I guess it is true what they say, “Once a mom, always a mom”.
(More of Kim Frencken's writing can be found on her Chocolate for the Teacher blog.)