I used to be a teacher, and I hope I will be again, but right now I feel a pain in my stomach every time I get my weekly NCTE Inbox email (NCTE = National Council of Teachers of English) or a message from Scholastic (especially the one headed "Teacher Update: Black History, Presidents, & Haiti Crisis (Grades 6-8)." Thanks, Scholastic, but I'm having my own Haiti Crisis here, and part of it does involve those particular grade levels!
I have spoken to a couple of middle school groups about the earthquake and they make me miss my own students so much. My maddening, funny, boisterous, noisy, bored, excited, crazy kids. I hope they all knew how much I loved them, even when I was moving them to new seats because they wouldn't stop talking or meeting with their parents or giving them homework (always "too much," in their opinion).
Today on my calendar it says "7th grade Bake Sale." I never even got to the stage of emailing the parents about it; the date had been put on the calendar the day before the quake, I think. I am always responsible for 7th grade bake sales because of being 7th grade homeroom teacher, and I always complained about them: the noise, the confusion, the weeks it took to get all the Tupperware and crumbs (and resulting ants) out of my classroom. But oh, how I wish I could have that bake sale today, that all of this would be a horrible nightmare and I could be griping about who didn't bring a cake knife and who spilled soda on the floor.
5 hours ago