For many teachers this was a very frustrating year. I found myself working to create activities that my students (especially my seniors) could participate in just to help them feel as though their year was special in a positive way.
I looked deeply into her eyes, I saw the tears welling up in them. She was hurt again and I had been the person who had delivered that pain. This was much bigger than just another cancelled date.
I have let her down so many times this year. I wanted to tell her, once again, that I was sorry; that this was the last time, that I wouldn’t do it anymore, but I have said that so many times and I recognized that the belief that I once saw in those trusting eyes was gone.
Only the hurt and sadness remained.
I thought to myself, what kind of person am I? How can I keep doing this?
Then I heard that old familiar voice in my head saying “it’s not your fault”, “you are just as much a victim here as she is” but the truth is that I am not sure that I believe it anymore either.
I have used all the clichés: “life is not fair”, “it will be better soon”, “when life gives you lemons” but my false bravado is just that and I don’t want her to know that I am hurting as much as she is.
She used to look up to me for strength and knowledge; nothing made me happier than to see her eyes light up when she saw me. Now instead of looking to me she looks through me. I’m sensing depression and desperation where I used to see joy.
God help me! I want to do right by her but this is bigger than I am.
Like her, I suffer the anguish, the fear of not knowing and the exhaustion of fighting to do the right thing when there is so much disagreement as to what the right thing is.
You see, she is the Senior Class of 2021 and I am a teacher that cares.
By Steve Gordon