Sometimes I feel like nights like tonight have to happen. Sometimes you need to lean against your car and stare straight up. Georgia summer is misery and magic: the days are hot and humid, but the nights… the nights are perfect. Tonight I leaned against my little Fit and breathed in all the sweet smells of summer: cut grass, honeysuckle, and gardenias blooming. Maybe it’s all the Doctor Who I’ve been watching lately, but somehow when I close my eyes I pretend I can feel the Earth spinning, and I like to think I can slow it down with my breathing. Sometimes we need to just slow down and feel.
I signed my contract today. For years I have dreamed of what this day would feel like, hoping it would actually come and that someone would deem me worthy. Words fail me. They are not enough. I am finally here. A classroom that is mine, a program to be built from the ground up, the ability to write any curriculum I want (and I PLAN to), and an incredible administrator who is on board with all of it. I might possibly have a team of my own, a club to sponsor and the ability to advocate art in the community… for real. Not just so it sounds good, but to genuinely give my kids (oh my god, they are going to be MY KIDS. YOU GUYS! I HAVE MY OWN KIDS) as many opportunities as the science kid or the math kid or the english kid. I get to show everyone what we are made of. What I am made of.
I get to write. I get to plan. I get to create my classroom into whatever I desire it to be. I get to learn a million new things: how to place an inventory order, what to use to stick posters to the wall, how to display my standards, what happens the first time a kid punches someone in my class (please god I hope that never happens), speaking to counselors about finding help for my students, the first time I get to hear a student of mine place in an art show, get a scholarship to their school of choosing, maybe even elect an art teacher as teacher of the year. So much MAGIC. I am so beautifully TERRIFIED, in the best, most incredible way. The rest of my life is only beginning, and the note on the first flyleaf is this:
“You were fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”
Thank you, Doctor Who, for knowing my life as I experience it. So was I.
Thus the journey begins. Join me? I promise it will be fun.